Sunday, December 03, 2006

Trust The Man

The Table Talk

When I saw the trailer for this film earlier this year, I placed it under my radar to watch if it makes its way here. I would like to have loved this film, but try as I may, I just couldn't. Not that it's a bad film, but it had too much cramped into it, with subplots flying off in various directions, and the flow just feels too bloated.

It's been some time since we last saw David Duchovny on screen. I'm a fan of his Fox Mulder, but after the series ended, it seemed that he has difficulty securing regular appearances in movies these days. He doesn't seem to age, and his latest outing in this movie is testament to that, save for that bearded look toward the end. His character, Tom, is interesting enough as the sex addict (yeah, you read that right), who just can't get enough of the hot and heavy from his wife Rebecca, played by Julianne Moore.

For this couple, we look at their marital woes, or woes that exist but always swept and kept under the carpet. It doesn't help when husband and wife reverses roles, with him becoming a house husband with plenty of time in his hands, and she spending long hours away with her theatre rehearsals. And when an attractive divorcee comes into the picture, all hell breaks loose of course.

Written and directed by director Bart Freundlich (real life husband of Julianne Moore), the story contrasts this couple with another, that of Tobey (Billy Crudup) and Elaine (Maggie Gyllenhaal). They are your perennial long term dating pair, with one eager to tie the knot, while the other just being commitment phobic. The hairline cracks finally give way, and we go into deep examination of the doom and gloom, the familiarity and the taking for granted, your other half.

There's plenty of dialogue in this movie, but don't expect most of them to be funny all the time. No quality wisecracks can be found here. While some are humourous, they come off rather contrived. Many scenes are also set around the (dinner) table, which offers the perfect opportunity for the characters to get together and share their thoughts, being conveniently related to one another, through blood relations and friendship. What's interesting though, is the reminder constantly played throughout, about the need to be totally honest about each other, even though this will mean having to declare things you know will definitely hurt. A cry for help shouldn't be blown away.

Again there are plenty more scenes shot which didn't make it to the final cut, and the editing was not slick enough to cover up these open end hanging feeling between scenes. A whole host of supporting cast like Gary Shandling and Eva Mendes amongst others, get so minuscule a role, they just adds to the needless character count, and contribute to the fat not required in story development.

But if you think you're in need of some serious romance drama, and potentially the need to reaffirm your love for someone, or in the mood for some discussions about the various themes put across - of love, faith, lust and sex, then Trust the Man will be your clear choice this week.

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