HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
American Fiction
Poor Things
Thunderclap
Zeiram
Legend of the Bat
Party Line
Night Fright
Pacha, Le
Kimi
Assemble Insert
Venus Tear Diamond, The
Promare
Beauty's Evil Roses, The
Free Guy
Huck and Tom's Mississippi Adventure
Rejuvenator, The
Who Fears the Devil?
Guignolo, Le
Batman, The
Land of Many Perfumes
Cat vs. Rat
Tom & Jerry: The Movie
Naked Violence
Joyeuses Pacques
Strangeness, The
How I Became a Superhero
Golden Nun
Incident at Phantom Hill
Winterhawk
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
Maigret Sets a Trap
B.N.A.
Hell's Wind Staff, The
Topo Gigio and the Missile War
Battant, Le
Penguin Highway
Cazadore de Demonios
Snatchers
Imperial Swordsman
Foxtrap
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  I Heart Huckabees How Am I Not Myself?
Year: 2004
Director: David O. Russell
Stars: Jason Schwartzman, Dustin Hoffman, Lily Tomlin, Jude Law, Mark Wahlberg, Naomi Watts, Isabelle Huppert, Angela Grillo, Ger Duany, Tippi Hedren
Genre: Comedy, WeirdoBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 4 votes)
Review: Albert Markovski (Jason Schwartzman) is a young environmental campaigner, troubled by a strange series of coincidences and profound feelings of uncertainty. He goes to see Bernard and Vivian Jaffe (Dustin Hoffman and Lily Tomlin), a pair of Existential Detectives who agree to trail him in order to solve his anxieties. Meanwhile, Albert has made a dubious deal with Brad Stand (Jude Law), a sales-exec from the Huckabees department store eager to provide ecological sponsorship.

David O. Russell's fourth film is closest in tone to his second movie, the screwball comedy Flirting with Disaster, but has far loftier ambitions; marketed as an 'existential comedy', it combines slapstick and surreal farce with a series of philosophical arguments about loneliness and the meaning of existence. The end result proves to be just as messy and audience-dividing as you’d expect; never quite as clever or funny as it wants to be, the film is helped immeasurably by a top-notch, up-for-anything cast. Hoffman and especially Tomlin are gloriously undignified as the two new-age PIs, following Albert everywhere to uncover clues to his disaffected state-of-mind, while a dead-pan Isabelle Huppert plays Caterine Vauban, their arch-rival who attempts to lure Albert over to her way of thinking. Jude Law's super-slick sales guy is a shallow image-obsessed narcissist who also hires the Jaffes, ostensively to cure his own emotional turmoil but in reality as part of his plan to have Albert sacked from his own campaign team. Naomi Watts cuts a vacant-yet-sexy figure as Dawn, Brad's girlfriend and the face (and body) of Huckabees' ad campaign, who also finds herself transformed by the Jaffe's intervention. And best of all is Mark Wahlberg, giving a career-best performance as Tommy Corn, a half-crazed firefighter obsessed with the evils of petrol consumption whom the Jaffes pair up with Albert to provide mutual support.

Russell and Jeff Baena's script is very much in Charlie Kaufman territory (though they'd probably deny it), but it lacks Kaufman's deft touch with such mind-bending material. Part of the problem is the character of Albert – which is not to say that Schwartzman doesn't put in a good performance – but he's just as mad as everyone else, making it hard to care about his woes. For all the bizarre content of, say, Being John Malkovich or Adaptation, Kaufman’s misanthropic lead characters were believable and sympathetic; nothing about Albert is particularly likable. In fact, he's such a wingebag that you can't really blame Brad for trying to oust him from the environmental coalition. Only Wahlberg cuts an empathetic figure, and the moment he realises that Albert has cast him aside for an affair with Caterine is surprisingly moving and beautifully acted.

The philosophy of I Heart Huckabees basically boils down to two central concepts. Bernard Jaffe believes that everything and everyone is connected, and understanding this is the key to 'deconstructing' oneself and achieving a state of absolute satisfaction. Caterine Vauban on the other hand is your garden-variety chaos-theorist who sees life as a series of random, unrelated events and believes that no action has any bearing on any other. All of which is all very well, and it’s great that a Hollywood film is even bothering to address such ideas, but the movie is very confused about where it wants to take them. Far too often the film descends into shouting matches between characters, and the only scene to deliver on a 'serious' level is the one in which an outraged Albert and Tommy end up at dinner with a family of hypocritical fuel-guzzling all-American Christian capitalists.

Nevertheless, there is much to enjoy. There's usually something to look at or laugh about, whether it’s Vivian nonchalantly stalking Albert through the Huckabees store, Albert and Tommy finding blissful enlightenment by hitting each other in the face with large rubber balls, or Brad’s obsession with Shania Twain's upcoming appearance at the company's environmental gala (the country-pop queen even has a brief cameo). The film has real visual style, and the colours of the clothing and sets are deliberately muted to provide contrast to some inventive moments, such as Albert visualising hoovering up Brad, Brad 'breastfeeding' Albert, or Bernard's face floating apart on screen. Frustrating and entertaining by turns, I Heart Huckabees may well offer more on subsequent viewings. Just try not to think about it too hard.
Reviewer: Daniel Auty

 

This review has been viewed 11737 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
  Louise Hackett
Mark Le Surf-hall
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: