I went and saw Trust the Man last weekend. It had an awesome trailer and i was pretty excited going in. Two hours later i left with a feeling that my gender had been bitch-slapped, hog-tied, thrown down the stairs and then urinated on. I wrote a few weeks ago about the impressive gender role reversal in Mr. & Mrs. Smith and at the end i commented about the overall lameness of men in most current Hollywood features, especially this summer. Trust the Man is the latest in that vein and most likely the worst offender yet.
There are two men in Trust the Man, Tom (David Duchovny) and Tobie (Billy Crudup) and while the movie pretends they’re likable guys and gives them some cute faces and funny scenes, the fact is that they are pretty much the most irresponsible, self-centered, insensitive, moral corrupt men to hit the silver screen in a romantic comedy this year. Tom (Dave D.), a stay at home dad, is married to Rebbecca (Julianne Moore) is a sex addict who tries to have sex with her at every turn no matter the time or place. He exercises no compassion nor tries to honest discuss why she won’t have sex with him. He instead decides to look at porn all day and have an affair with a single mother at his daughter’s school. Sweet. Tobie, a freelance writer, is dating Elaine (Maggie Gyllenhaal), obsessed with death and sports, totally self-centered, and avoids commitment and emotional honesty like its the plague. He’s also completely rude and annoying. He never once offers useful advice to Elaine or contributes any relevant conversation in any scene in the movie. Trust me, it’s painful to watch because i like all four of the actors and want to like them, but it was really pretty tough.
What do these men have going for them? Apparently nothing. The movie wants you to sympathize with them and it is a romantic comedy and both couples need to get together and live happily ever. So, it follows Tobie’s attempts to win Elaine back and tracks Rebecca’s troubles at work. In any normal situation, there’d be a solid guy or at least someone somewhat normal somewhere which would start dating Elaine and that would be the end of it. But not here. Why? Because every other man completely sucks too. This is a movie of horrible horrible men at every turn. Rebecca (Julianne Moore) is surrounded at work by theater assholes and a young super sketchy cliche of an actor. Elaine tries to date two guys: one who’s a loud, long-haired musician hippie sketchball and another who is unintelligent German sprocket.
What about the women? This movie would have you believe that women are a) the only ones capable of holding a normal job that requires hard work and dedication, b) the only tactful gender, c) the only people able to live an un-neurotic existence, d) a doomed to a life of having to hold the hand of their man through life.
The icing on this crap-cake is that at the end Tom and Tobie cause a huge scene at a play and utter a few romantic lines that are (i kid you not), “I’m a father and a husband. I love you.” (David D.) and “I don’t want to live without you.” (Billy C.). And, because these guys were SO lame the whole movie, these lines do seem like a HUGE accomplishment. Thus the two ladies are overcome with emotion, take them back and everyone lives happily ever after. Puh-lease.
Side note: You know what also pisses me off is when the characters in movies are actors, directors or in the theater. It makes me think that the writer so uncreative that he can’t think of a career for these people that is somewhat normal. The four characters in this movie are a) an actress, b) a sports writer, c) a receptionist who writes a children’s book, and d) a retired marketing exec who becomes a writer. So, to recap: 3 of 4 are writers and the forth is an actress. Gee – that’s real original. The writer took the phrase “write what you know” a little too literally. At least he didn’t have it take place in LA.