By Donna Freydkin, USA TODAY
NEW YORK – Love hurts.
Just ask Rebecca (Julianne Moore), an actress married to would-be philanderer Tom (David Duchovny), a househusband who’s obsessed with sex.
And there’s her immature Neanderthal brother Tobey (Billy Crudup), dating a frustrated novelist (Maggie Gyllenhaal).
The two couples bicker and banter in the romantic comedy Trust the Man, which premiered Monday night in Chelsea. But that tangled romantic web belongs firmly on the big screen.
In real life, Moore has been happily married to Trust‘s director Bart Freundlich since 2003 and the two have daughter Liv, 4, and son Cal, 8. They started dating while shooting 1997’s The Myth of Fingerprints, which Freundlich directed. Trust, their second film together, opens in limited release on Aug. 18.
On the red carpet, Moore shared the secret to their lasting partnership: “You have to really want to be there. And everything falls into place.”
Did she get preferential treatment from her director husband? “He’s certainly always nice to me.”
Their son, Cal, has a small part in the film and acknowledged being “a little” nervous about his movie debut.
Veteran actress Gyllenhaal is expecting her first baby with fiance Peter Sarsgaard this fall, but if she were in the dating market, she knows where she would draw the line: “Ugly hands are hard for me.”
Eva Mendes, who plays Crudup’s character’s old flame in the film, was more flexible. “You can cheat on me as long as your fingernails are clean.”
Like the party celebrating it, the movie, which dissects New York relationships through the stories of two spoiled couples, is a family affair. Written and directed by Moore’s husband, Bart Freundlich, the romantic comedy introduces the couple’s daughter, Liv, as well as the multitasking Cal. “The kids were great,” said Freundlich. “The only thing is, my son only ever does anything once.”
It’s just as well, since Cal’s star turn comes when he punches David Duchovny, Moore’s on-screen husband, in the nether regions. Somewhat less painful are the frat-boy antics of Billy Crudup’s death-obsessed Tobey. “I play a ridiculous character, and that can be fun,” said the actor. “I didn’t draw too much from real life, but my friends might disagree with that!”
After grazing on Asian delicacies in take-out boxes at the Chelsea nightspot Home, T??a Leoni, along with Eva Mendes and a very pregnant Maggie Gyllenhaal (who plays Crudup’s baby-hungry girlfriend in the movie), celebrated Duchovny’s 46 big ones with a cake and a rousing rendition of “Happy Birthday.” Shortly after, the Moore-Freundlich family left. Cal, after all, had to get to bed.