Trust the Man (review)

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“Why do you think we’re such wiseasses?” David Duchovny asks Billy Crudup, meaning not just the two of them but snarky Generation Xers as a whole, and meaning Why can’t we take this relationship thing seriously? They’re screwing it up, of course, Duchovny’s (House of D) househusband with his actress wife (Julianne Moore: The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio), and Crudup’s (Mission: Impossible III) writer with his wannabe writer girlfriend (Maggie Gyllenhaal: Happy Endings), and all of the many phone calls and sob sessions and screaming matches and dinnertime conversations/confession over wine among this foursome are replete with snarky wiseacrery… and also an abundance of charm and wisdom and heart, thanks to the appealing cast and smart script. This isn’t one of those movies that blames women entirely for men’s woes, or men entirely for women’s, but all of us for our own messes. And yet it’s all much lighter, even touching on silly, than you’d expect from writer/director Bart Freundlich — he gave us 2001’s intriguing but somber World Traveler, a similarly themed exploration of male boredom with domesticity. Here, earthy humor about potty training kids and hornily desperate negotiation of lovemaking frequency is only the beginning: the ending is wonderfully ridiculous, and might almost make you want to cheer.

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