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PCR # 336  (Vol. 7, No. 35)  This edition is for the week of August 28--September 3, 2006.

This Week's PCR
Movie Review
"Trust The Man"

Movie review by:
Michael A. Smith
Two stars

Movies are rated 0 to 4 stars

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"Trust The Man"  by Mike Smith
An Open Note To Rick Danford  by Mark Terry
There's No '80s In Your 30s....VHS Grindhouse - "Terror in the Haunted House"....Disney Authorization  by Andy Lalino
I Shot JFK....Goodbye, Pa Kent....My Favorite Films, Part 35: "Carrie"  by Mike Smith
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Fox Searchlight     
Starring: David Duchovny, Julianne Moore, Billy Crudup and Maggie Gyllenhaal
Directed by: Bryan Barber
Rated: R
Running Time: 1 hour 43 mins

While watching the late show on television did you ever tune into a classic Mickey Rooney/Judy Garland film from the '40s? If so, you'll remember that the main plot consisted of a group of friends getting together and putting on a show in the barn. With "Trust the Man," director Bart Freundlich has invited his wife (Moore), her friends (among them, Duchovny) and even gone as far to invite Duchovny's friend (Garry Shandling) to do a show. The only thing missing is Tea Leoni!

The film tells the story of two couples. Rebecca (Moore) is a film star currently in rehearsal for a play on Broadway. Her husband, Tom (Duchovny) is adjusting to life as a "house husband." Across town, Rebecca's brother, Tobey (Crudup) is a writer who spends his days watching ESPN. Meanwhile, his girlfriend, Elaine (Gyllenhaal) is busy juggling her career while writing a children's book. Each couple has problems. For Rebecca and Tom, it's sex. Too much for one and not enough for the other. And it's not that they aren't romantic. That is if you consider romance having your partner watch an adult video and describe the action, including the boring opening credit sequence. With Tobey and Elaine, it's commitment to the future. After seven years of dating, Elaine realizes that marriage and children are not on Tobey's horizon, so she feels it's time to look elsewhere. Over the next ninety minutes or so we are treated to a series of scenes that, while often funny, seem to exist because the cast was in the same room together. And a fine cast it is.

As a wife that suspects her husband is having an affair, Moore has the best character to work with. She is allowed to run the gamut of every emotion and does her usual excellent job. Most people think of David Duchovny as "that guy from the X-files," but he has always done a good job on the big screen and "Trust the Man" is no exception. Crudup (probably best known for "Almost Famous" and the voice of the Master Card commercials) manages to make Tobey's adolescent behavior endearing while Gyllenhaal brings life to what could have easily been a one-dimensional role. Sadly, the actors can't make up for what is, at best, a movie-of-the-week script. Freundlich has written much better, with "Myth of Fingerprints" a fine example. Here it seems like he was concentrating on each scene individually, so much so that the film runs not as a flowing story but more like a series of three-minute bits. That the actors involved actually make you care some about their characters is a testament to their talent.

On a scale of zero to four stars, I give "Trust The Man"  Two stars

This week's movie review of "Trust The Man" is ©2006 by Michael A. Smith.  All graphics this page are creations of Nolan B. Canova, ©2006, all rights reserved. All contents of "Nolan's Pop Culture Review" are ©2006 by Nolan B. Canova.