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I Heart Huckabees (2004)

  Directed by: David O. Russell
Written by: Jeff Baena, David O. Russell
Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Isabelle Huppert, Jude Law, Jason Schwartzman, Lily Tomlin, Mark Wahlberg, Naomi Watts
Links: I Heart Huckabees on the IMDb, Official site, Tommy Corn's blog, Huckabees Corporate Website, Jaffe and Jaffe - Existential Detectives, Open Spaces, Buy on Video, Buy on DVD, Buy the Soundtrack
Genre: Drama

This movie gets: 6.00 (1 rating)
nofreelist.com Ranking: not yet ranked (awaiting 2 ratings)

"Too quirky for its own good" - a review by pearly

I'm usually fond of films like this. Films that are left-of-centre, out of the norm. They provide a more interesting taste than the usual bland flavours of Hollywood. Plus, it's nice not to have everything handed to you on a silver platter: here's your hero, you can tell, because he's dressed in white and is clean-shaven. He's your villain, obvious, because he's played by that guy who keeps giving everyone sidelong glances. Having to work a little is healthy, and often more satisfying.

I didn't hate I ♥ Huckabees, or I Heart Huckabees, or whatever the hell it's meant to be called. I enjoyed parts of it a fair bit, but if I were going to give a sweeping generalisation as to the film as a whole, I'd say that it was trying too hard.

What's it about? Well, a man named Albert (Jason Schwartzman) visits a husband and wife team who are existential detectives (Dustin Hoffman and Lily Tomlin) after coicidentally seeing the same man on three separate occasions. As part of his therapy, he is paired with Tommy (Mark Wahlberg), a firefighter. As well as this, Albert's work life is put into disarray after his position with an environmental group is challenged by Brad (Jude Law), a suit from the Huckabee's Corporation, whose wife Dawn (Naomi Watts) is the face of the company.

Simple, really. Well, no, actually I was just being facetious. In acuality, it's as convoluted as I've made it sound in the above paragraph. It's easy enough to follow if you just go along with it, but unlike other bizarre stories (say, Adaptation (2002)), this didn't click in my head. It didn't come together nicely and make me relish its oddness. It just came across as this foreign, odd thing.

There are some great actors present in the film, but mostly, they're just over-acting everything. Watts is over-the-top sugary-sweet, Hoffman is over-the-top strange, and I'm sure I'm yet to understand the appeal of Schwartzman as an actor full stop (he sure did age since the last thing I saw him in though!).

A nice try, and it looks like this might be the one "cult classic" that slipped through my fingers for the year, but it just wasn't me.

pearly gives this movie 6 out of 10.
Review created on Mon 17 Jan 2005

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Reader comments

  1. I Loved it!!!

    Rating given: 10

    A comment from LJ on Sat 11 Jun 2005 02:01 #

  2. Far and away the worst and most confusing part of the movie was its writing and plot, which tried to provide a little food for thought, but bit off more than it could chew.

    Rating given: 3

    A comment from MR on Wed 15 Nov 2006 10:39 #

Those who have commented give this movie: 6.50 (2 ratings)

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