S.G. Browne

Movie Review Monday: I Heart Huckabees

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d review a movie about the personal connections that arise from the senseless and painful reality of human existence. And a movie that has the word “heart” in its title.

I Heart Huckabees (2004) is a film that’s difficult to describe. I’m not sure I can do it justice. Even director David O. Russell, in an interview, said he described the film to the people who financed the movie as:

“Dustin Hoffman and Lily Tomlin are existential detectives who you could hire to investigate the meaning of your life. Their clients include Jude Law, Naomi Watts, Jason Schwartzman and Mark Wahlberg. Their nemesis is Isabelle Huppert. Hilarity ensues.”

Jason Schwartzman is a neurotic (surprise!)  environmental advocate fighting against the development of a big-chain department store (Huckabees), for which Jude Law plays a scheming, corporate-ladder-climbing executive, with Naomi Watts, the iconic face and voice of Huckabees, as his live-in girlfriend who has superficial tendencies. As mentioned, Lily Tomlin and Dustin Hoffman are the existential sleuths who attempt to help Schwartzmann solve a coincidence by teaching him about the universal interconnectivity of everything.

Mark Wahlberg (in a great role) is an anti-petroleum, bicycle-riding fireman who believes Tomlin’s and Hoffman’s optimistic approach isn’t working for him. So he teams up with Schwartzmann and the two of them go off on their own to work with Isabelle Huppert, who teaches them that life is meaningless and that they must disconnect from their problems in order to avoid the misery of human existence.

And you thought this was going to be a love story.

This is definitely one of those films that you either love or you hate. Obviously, I fall into the former camp and consider this one of my favorite films. It’s a quirky, playful, intelligent comedy about the meaning of existence with terrific acting, great dialogue, and an original story.

Just don’t expect a whole lot of hearts or romance.

Filed under: Movie Review Mondays,Movies and Books — Tags: — S.G. Browne @ 4:00 pm