The first warning sign should be the fact that a movie with a cast comprised of Julianne Moore, David Duchovny, Billy Crudup, Maggie Gyllenhaall, Eva Mendes and Gary Shandling never secured a wide release. The acting is fine by all, but the clichéd, lackluster script renders their collective talent useless, Billy Crudup especially. Since ALMOST FAMOUS I’ve been waiting for Crudup to find another perfect role. Here, he pulls off the lovable a-hole shtick no sweat, but he deserves something more substantial than a guy characterized by the screenname “Assman204.”
There are a few humorous spots, but director Freundlich can’t decide what kind of comedy he wants TRUST THE MAN to be; the sweet romantic kind, a crude adult farce, or a satire about fame in NYC. You get the basic rom-com witty banter and physical gags, but then there’ll be a joke about farts or horse porn, followed by a mocking of Moore’s life as an actress. None of these styles mix all that well, keeping the movie from finding a single tone that fits. Throw in the occasional dramatic moment, and the whole thing feels like quite a mess.
The only positive thing I took away from TRUST THE MAN is the following pick up line, which will undoubtedly coerce many a woman in to the sack: “I know you’re tired, but I have a way where you don’t have to exert any energy at all.” Thank you, David Duchovny.
Commentary by writer/director Bart Freundlich and actor David Duchovny: Nothing of much substance. The two are obviously good friends and have a funny chemistry, but Freundlich spends most of the time pointing out all his family and friends peppered throughout the movie.
Reel Love: The Making of TRUST THE MAN (13:02): Your standard BTS feature with a look at each actor/character. I hope Crudup wasn’t serious when he said he decided to do the movie because he liked his character’s name (Tobey).
Deleted Scenes (10:12): There’s actually some of funny stuff in here; shame it wasn’t left in the movie. Also, Julianne Moore making hamster noises…hot.
In an attempt to win back his wife after she discovers he had an affair, David Duchovny simply writes her a note that says “I am in love with you.” And she actually takes him back.
Extra Tidbit: Writer/Director Bart Freundlich is married to Julianne Moore and is best friends with David Duchovny and Billy Crudup. That explains a lot.