You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Trust the Man

"Trust the Man" provides a loving take on bourgeois Manhattan contentment that's usually only found in episodes of "Will & Grace". Fox Searchlight will have to put in overtime to counter what will undoubtedly be fatal word of mouth, despite some very decent performances.

Tom - David Duchovny Rebecca - Julianne Moore Tobey - Billy Crudup Elaine - Maggie Gyllenhaal Faith - Eva Mendes Norah - Ellen Barkin Dr. Beekman - Garry Shandling Dante - James Le Gros

For those who appreciate the Woody Allen view of New York but would prefer fewer neurotics, “Trust the Man” provides a loving take on bourgeois Manhattan contentment that’s usually only found in episodes of “Will & Grace.” Unfortunately in this New York, no crisis is insurmountable, and no upscale downtown restaurant is deprived of product placement. Fox Searchlight will have to put in overtime to counter what will undoubtedly be fatal word of mouth, despite some very decent performances.

With characters who are far more endowed with problems than personality, writer-director Bart Freundlich’s carousel of domestic angst stars his wife, Julianne Moore, as Rebecca, a celebrated film actress who’s taken on a stage play at Lincoln Center. Her husband, Tom (David Duchovny), has assumed, apprehensively, the role of house husband in charge of their two kids.

The obvious dramatic fodder in such a setup is obscured by a Freundlich’s penchant for easy jokes and painfully glib repartee between Rebecca and Tom — and between Rebecca’s brother, Tobey (Billy Crudup), and Elaine (Maggie Gyllenhaal). Elaine is a would-be children’s author who wants children, and Tobey’s a lay about who has turned alternate-side-of-the-street parking into a full-time job.

Crudup is the only cast member who really grabs his part — and he also has the best lines. Tobey is happily askew to real life and expresses sincere disbelief that any one should expect anything of him, including Elaine.

Tom, on the other hand, is not unhappy in his fatherly duties, but would like a bit more bedroom attention from Rebecca.

The cinematography by Tim Orr (“George Washington,” “Raising Victor Vargas”) is first rate, as are the costumes by Michael Clancy, but the surfaces are so glossy they counteract the indie flavor that Freundlich (“The Myth of Fingerprints”) is trying so hard to achieve.

While other recent films, notably “Half Nelson,” have used New York with visual originality, “Trust the Man” is the city as envisioned by the same people who came up with “I Love NY.”

The closing scenes of “Trust the Man” are so contrived and madcap, the viewer fully expects someone to start throwing pies. That they don’t is a disappointment, all things considered.

Trust the Man

Production: A 20th Century Fox release of a Fox Searchlight Pictures and Sidney Kimmel Entertainment presentation of a Process Prods. production. Produced by Tim Perell, Bart Freundlich, Kimmel. Executive producers, Marina Grasic, Evelyn O'Neill. Directed, written by Bart Freundlich.

Crew: Camera (Technicolor, Deluxe prints), Tim Orr; editor, John Gilroy; music, Clint Mansell; music supervisor, Daniel Wise; production designer, Kevin Thompson; art director, John Nymarkay; set decorator, Mila Khalevich; costume designer, Michael Clancy; makeup, Susan Reilly Lehane, Tania Ribalow; sound (Dolby Digital), William Sarokin; supervising sound editor, Dave Paterson; visual effects supervisor, Cosmas Paul Bolger Jr.; visual effects, Digital Film Works; associate producers, Meredith Zamsky, Paul Bernard; assistant director, Paul F. Bernard; casting, Douglas Aibel. Reviewed at 20th Century Fox Studios, Los Angeles, Aug. 10, 2006. (In Toronto Film Festival, 2005.) MPAA rating: R. Running time: 103 MIN.

With: Tom - David Duchovny Rebecca - Julianne Moore Tobey - Billy Crudup Elaine - Maggie Gyllenhaal Faith - Eva Mendes Norah - Ellen Barkin Dr. Beekman - Garry Shandling Dante - James Le Gros

More Film

  • Woolsey Fire Malibu

    Many Malibu Areas Still Off-Limits for Filming After Fire

    The California Film Commission has maintained its ban on filming in several Malibu areas hit by the massive Woolsey fire in Southern California last month. The commission announced Tuesday that due to continued clean-up and repair work along Pacific Coast Highway, permits for filming on the highway are not being issued at this time. PCH [...]

  • Against the Clock

    Film News Roundup: Andy Garcia's Spy Thriller 'Against the Clock' Bought by Gravitas

    In today’s film news roundup, Andy Garcia’s spy thriller is sold, “Battlestar Galactica” gets a screenwriter, and Brooklyn Decker gets an award. ACQUISITION Gravitas Ventures has acquired North American rights to spy thriller “Against the Clock,” starring Andy Garcia, Dianna Agron (“Glee”), and Justin Bartha, Variety has learned exclusively. More Reviews London Theater Review: 'The [...]

  • 'Pacific Rim Uprising' film premiere

    John Boyega in Talks to Star in Legal Drama 'A Naked Singularity'

    “Star Wars” actor John Boyega is in talks to star in the legal drama “A Naked Singularity” with Ridley Scott’s Scott Free Productions on board to produce. The movie is based on Sergio De La Pava’s debut novel, which centers on a successful New York public defender whose life begins to unravel after he loses [...]

  • Aquaman 2018

    'Aquaman' Outpacing 'Wonder Woman' in Fandango Pre-Sales

    Pre-sales of “Aquaman,” which opens on Thursday night, are outpacing “Wonder Woman” at the same point in the advance ticket sales cycle on online ticketer Fandango. “Wonder Woman” opened with $103 million domestically during the June 2 to June 4, 2017, weekend on its way to a $412 million North American total for Warner Bros. “Aquaman,” [...]

  • European Union Placeholder

    Europe, Hollywood Hail Landmark E.U. Territorial Licensing Agreement

    Industry organizations and major companies in Europe and Hollywood welcomed Tuesday a high-level European Union agreement that in large part preserves producers’ ability to sell movies and TV shows on an exclusive territory-by-territory basis. Territorial licensing is a financial backbone of the film and TV business in Europe. Recognition of such licensing came last Thursday in [...]

  • Box Office: 'Aquaman,' 'Mary Poppins Returns'

    Box Office: 'Aquaman' Battles 'Mary Poppins Returns' in Crowded Holiday Weekend

    It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and the most competitive time at the multiplexes. This weekend sees two very different heroes vying for the box office crown with “Aquaman” and “Mary Poppins Returns” both eyeing sizable debuts. “Mary Poppins Returns” is getting a head start by opening on Wednesday, though estimates show “Aquaman” [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content