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Trust the Man


Stars: Julianne Moore, David Duchovny, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Billy Crudup, Dagmara Dominczyk

Director: Bart Freundlich

...or not, as the case may be. This sort-of-romantic comedy is about sex and psychiatry - but mainly sex. Tom (Duchovny) wants it twice a day, while his actress wife Rebecca (Moore) objects not only to how often they do it, but in what way.

Her brother Tobey (Crudup), a slob in the Vince Vaughn mould, lives with budding children's author Elaine (Gyllenhaal), but regards sex as routine and remains oblivious to her desires for marriage and childfren. Tom goes off and has an affair with sexy Dominczyk, but Tobey resists the same temptation.

The film, atmospherically shot in New York in rich colours, has its moments, but most of its characters are oddly dislikeable. Why, for instance, isn't Gyllenhaal more sympathetic when Crudup's car is towed away?

And the would-be witty dialogue often fires embarrassing blanks. 'I guess,' says Moore, "you thought it would be like marrying a hooker.' 'Yes,' replies Duchovny. 'Without the payment.' There are a few lines better than this, admittedly, but not many. The film goes particularly potty at the end, too, though its cause is already lost.

And, while it might be ungallant to suggest that Moore is no longer young enough to play thirtysomething, I'll say it anyway.

David Quinlan

USA 2006. UK Distributor: Icon. Technicolor.
97 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 2.

Review date: 17 Sep 2006