• James Rutherford

'I Heart Huckabees': A Wildly Eccentric and Highly Colorful Existential Comedy


Movie poster for the film I Heart Huckabees starring Jason Schwartzman, Jude Law and Naomi Watts

"I Heart Huckabees" (2004) is a wildly eccentric comedy starring Jason Schwartzman as Albert Markovski, a young environmentalist dedicated to the preservation of urban green space. Intent on deterring the development of a new 'Huckabees' chain store in his community, he struggles on a personal level with existential distress and concerns over repeated coincidences in his life.

Overcome with persistent angst, Markovski hires a pair of existential detectives, Bernard and Vivian Jaffe (Dustin Hoffman and Lily Tomlin), to follow him daily in order to investigate his personal state of affairs. Through his partnership with the Jaffes, he comes into collaboration with Tommy Corn (Mark Wahlberg), an anti-petroleum activist and firefighter who serves as his sponsor-of-sorts. Their exploits ultimately bring them into contact with a rival detective named Caterine Vauban (Isabelle Huppert) as well as Huckabees executive Brad Stand (Jude Law) and his girlfriend Dawn Campbell (Naomi Watts) in a wild convergence of adversaries and agendas.

Co-written and directed by David O. Russell ("The Fighter", "Silver Linings Playbook"), "I Heart Huckabees" is a one-of-a-kind amalgamation of screwball comedy and strikingly philosophical treatise on the nature of human existence. Based in part on a feverish dream the famously mercurial filmmaker once experienced, the film eschews nearly all discernible convention to become something truly unique. Teeming with lofty concepts and bold humor, it's one of the most stimulating comedic escapades of the 21st Century.

 

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