I Heart Huckabees
David O. Russell
Jason Schwartzman as Albert Markovksi
Jude Law as Brad Stand
Mark Wahlberg as Tommy Corn
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Albert Markovski is a young poet/environmental activist seeking to comprehend a series of coincidences that he believes may clarify his role in the universe. When he hires existential detectives Bernard and Vivian Jaffe to get to the bottom of it, his life begins to get whackier by the second as he meets Tom Corn – a philosopher/firefighter – and battles his nemesis Brad Stand, a wily sales executive for the Huckabees Corporation.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
I normally don’t go nuts for existential, “meaning of life” movies not necessarily because of the topic but rather because they usually end up being senseless messes such as WAKING LIFE. As soon as this one started though, I knew it would be different. The first few minutes of this film were so uplifting (thanks mostly to the score by Jon Brion) that they just carried a nice mood throughout the rest of the movie and the smile never really let up. Despite a couple of instances during which the film started getting a bit too clever for its own good and nearly outsmarted itself, the likeable characters brought it back down and kept its head above the water.
I HEART HUCKABEES features an impressive ensemble cast packing a missile-seized load of Hollywood power with mainstays like Dustin Hoffman and Lily Tomlin joining forces with younger stars Jason Schwartzman, Naomi Watts, Mark Wahlberg and Jude Law (the latter of which seemed to be appearing on every single screen at the multiplex during 2004). Schwartzman was excellent as the loveable goof who succeeded in the difficult task of playing an activist without making him look pompous and righteous. The true standout however was Wahlberg as a fireman bent on stopping the use of petroleum throughout the world. Wahlberg is that rare breed of actor who can take on a different role in every film and absolutely excel at it, making it hard to believe that this man initially gained fame through the exposure of his underwear elastic. In a nutshell, what you’ll get out of I HEART HUCKABEES is a film that takes on the often molasses-inducing topic of the Meaning of Life with a humorous approach. How successful you find the humor is entirely dependant on you but I got a kick out of it and would gladly recommend it to anyone looking for something different.
There are Two Full Length Audio Commentary Tracks on the DVD. The first one features director David O. Russell and the other, cast members Jason Schwartzman, Mark Wahlberg and Naomi Watts. Both are standard fare, which means you’ll more than likely enjoy them to the same degree you enjoyed the movie.
A pretty interesting flick made more enjoyable due to a short running time and an overall sense of not taking itself too seriously. The actors were all very pleasant and there was no real flaw with the movie that would make you actively dislike it, just as there was no real clincher that would make it stand the test of time. A high rental rating is appropriate.