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I Heart Huckabees

Released: 2004

Genre: Comedy

Runtime: 1 hr 47 min

MPAA Rating: R

Director: David O. Russell

Starring: Jason Schwartzman, Dustin Hoffman, Lily Tomlin, Jude Law, Naomi Watts, Mark Wahlberg, Isabelle Huppert

A young environmental activist joins forces with a megastore to save a marsh.

I found myself enjoying it.

Review by: MiamiMovieCritic

Added: 7 years ago

I Heart Huckabees is inexplicable. Directed by David O. Russell, director of Three Kings, it leaves the viewer pretty much at a loss for words. It has little to no real plot. It is self-important. It is in love with its own cleverness and enlightenment about the state of the world. It is definitely going to require a second viewing to be sure what was really going on. And yet I found myself enjoying it nevertheless.

Perhaps it was Jason Schwartzman as Albert, an environmentalist whose coalition for preserving nature is teaming up with megastore Huckabees in order to save a marsh. It could have been the pairing of Dustin Hoffman and Lily Tomlin as Bernard and Vivian, the Existential Detectives Albert hires in order to sort out his meaning in the world. It probably was Jude Law as Brad, the charming but crafty corporate fodder in the Huckabees chain who is Albert’s nemesis. It could have been Mark Wahlberg as Tommy, a firefighter who is suffering his own existential crises in his crusade against the use of petroleum as the root of all evil. Or it could have been Naomi Watts as Dawn, the voice of Huckabees and Brad’s girlfriend, who in learning about all these existential matters begins to wonder what it all means. And then there was Isabelle Huppert as Catherine, a rival existentialist or nihilist who questions Bernard and Vivian’s theories about everything being connected as she tries to convert and seduce Albert and Tommy along the way.

If all this seems somewhat unbalanced, that’s because it is. The film is a frenzied assault on any deep thought you’ve ever had about the world. It does this with a loud, messy onslaught of words exchanged so fast I’m sure I missed something. Russell has certainly created something new and refreshingly different (the fantasy scenes, complete with a machete-wielding Albert, come to mind), and although you will find yourself laughing and pondering your own existence, you will still be wondering what the hell is going on.