Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB. USA, 2005. Sidney Kimmel Entertainment, Major Studio Partners, Process Media, Trust the Man LLC. Screenplay by Bart Freundlich. Cinematography by Tim Orr. Produced by Bart Freundlich, Sidney Kimmel, Tim Perell. Music by Clint Mansell. Production Design by Kevin Thompson. Costume Design by Michael Clancy. Film Editing by John Gilroy. Toronto International Film Festival 2005.
The ups and downs of two couples are examined in this romantic comedy, with director Bart Freundlich taking a stab at Woody Allen’s territory. David Duchovny has quit his job in advertising to be a househusband while his wife (Julianne Moore) continues her successful career as an actress. Her brother and Duchovny’s best friend (Billy Crudup) is having commitment issues with his girlfriend (Maggie Gyllenhaal) because she is ready for marriage and children and he is fascinated by his own Peter Pan complex. These four characters go through various stages of intimacy and withdrawal from each other without ever really engaging the audience’s sympathy. Moore is sublime as always, but the one-dimensional female characters take backseat to the indulgent view of the men, whom we’re supposed to feel sorry for because they just can’t help but be immature jackasses. The whole thing moves along at a steady, easygoing pace, with natural dialogue and situations, then does a complete reversal and indulges in a ridiculously hokey climax at Moore’s opening night that feels like it comes out of a bad teen movie (I’m only amazed that it didn’t take place at a prom). And what’s with Ellen Barkin‘s cameo as a creepy lesbian predator? This is a film only the eighties could be proud of.