‘I Heart Huckabees’ had been on my list to see for a while, and I finally caught up with it today at the Dendy cinema at Newtown. I found it a vibrant and entertaining film and left the cinema on a high.
The thin plot to ‘I Heart Huckabees’ is about Albert Markovski , the environmentalist founder of Open Spaces Coalition, who writes poetry, plants trees in parking lots and wants to know the meaning of recent deep experiences in his life. He hires two existential detectives, Bernard and Vivian, to try and give him some answers. Things develop from there involving Brad Strand from Huckabees retail chain who wants to take over Open Spaces with a subplot about a model, Dawn Campbell, who wants to discard the glamour look.
Yes, this is a wild and fanciful filmmaking in the vein of the Kaufmann films. There’s a top-line cast on board to back up the wacko comedy and it’s good to see that they give good comic performances. Jason Schwartzman plays the existentially challenged Albert, Dustin Hoffman with his Beatle wig, and Lily Tomlin are the two intrepid detectives, the great French actress, Isabella Huppert plays an eccentric psychic, Naomi Watts gives a strong performance as the uptight Huckabees model who is sick of her bimbo role, Jude Law is Brad the handsome, super slick corporate executive for the Company who loves telling tales out of school about some of the celebrities that the company uses, and Mark Wahlberg plays Albert’s offsider, Tommy.
This is a film that does have that feeling that everything but the kitchen sink has been thrown in. Just to give you an idea, these were my favourite scenes.. Albert and Tommy on a bench and continuously hit a huge red ball against their head to give themselves some existential parity …Albert and Tommy having a mud fight, that gets muckier and muckier. There was also a great scene where Tommy, as a fireman saves Dawn from a house fire and gives her a romantic kiss, which was beauiful visually, but God only knows what the scene was doing in the film, it literally made no sense!
Have you got the picture?! ‘I Heart Huckabees’ was hammy, anarchic, cereberal, over the top, excessive, and a lot of fun.