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by Willie Waffle

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Trust The Man

In this ensemble piece, two couples are questioning their relationships and futures with the ones they love.  Househusband and former ad executive Tom (David Duchovny) is married to actress Rebecca (Julianne Moore).  She has been rebuffing his advances claiming she just needs some space, while his carnal needs seem to be growing to unhealthy levels.  Meanwhile, Elaine (Maggie Gyllenhaal) has been dating Tobey (Billy Crudup) for seven years and is ready to get married and have a baby, but he seems too childish and afraid to take that next step. 

Will these two couples find a way to make it work?

A movie about Manhattan yuppies whining about their love lives could have been a torturous affair, but Trust The Man is one of the funniest movies of the year.  Writer/director Bart Freundlich (Moore’s husband) avoids the typical sappy twists and turns and emotional moments some actors might want to interject, and delivers wacky, funny, hilarious moments that keep the plot moving along, while also entertaining you.

However, it’s not just the obvious jokes being told by the lead actors in a scene, but subtle events happening in the background or a bit player delivering a wicked one-liner.  It makes for a much more interesting movie to watch, especially as we follow the path of the two relationships, but don’t get all that heavy into the details, or, at least, it doesn’t feel that way.  This approach gives talented cast members like Bob Balaban, Garry Shandling and Ellen Barkin memorable moments, without a great deal of useless scenes.  

The movie has plenty of great acting performances, but it was Crudup who surprised me the most.  He disappeared so deeply into this character, I spent the entire movie racking my brain trying to figure out who he was even though I knew he was in the movie!  Crudup is so natural and funny that it was like watching a truly lost and childish man on the screen instead of an accomplished actor.

Sometimes, it feels like some key subplots may have been chopped, like a possible affair between Moore and a young stage actor played by Justin Bartha, and the plot never seems to drive the movie (jokes do), but Trust The Man is an entertaining, funny time.   

3 Waffles (Out Of 4)

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