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The Mass Media

Review: I Heart Huckabees

I’m just going to accept my loneliness. And go to an even darker place of nothingnessFrom even a farther more extreme nothingness. On my own. -Mark Wahlberg

Sitting in the Wit’s End, contemplating peyote or maybe a conversion to Mormon, after an all nighter of writing papers and smoking too many cigarettes; knowing that I was in need of help. Well as luck so has it, Fox Search Light’s newest film, I ? Huckabees, had just come out. Huckabees, a film about, what life is all about or, in other terms, existentialism, seemed to be a healthy way to get my life back on track.

My existential romp lead me to Lowes On The Common, where I saw one of the finest cast ensembles in a movie, that the average popcorn eater is not supposed to be drawn to. It isn’t to say that I ? Huckabees isn’t a fantastic movie, it is to say that if you are looking for punch-line humor or explosions, you won’t find it here. Huckabees director/writer David Russell (Three Kings) follows in the wake of the successes from Wes Anderson (Royal Tenenbaums) and Charlie Kaufman (Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind) in creating movies that you wouldn’t call conventional, but you would call brilliant.

Huckabees performances, to say the least, were demanding, and to make characters as ridiculous as “existential detectives” believable, Russell calls for the help of academy award winner Dustin Hoffman and a hysterical Isabelle Huppert (Merci Pour Le Chocolat, The Piano Teacher). These two existential detectives come to the help of a bewildered Jason Schwartzman (Rushmore) who is trying to discover the meaning of a series of coincidences but ends up receiving 24-hour surveillance and 24-hour existential philosophy. Schwartzman’s performance ended up as a Max Fisher revival, which doesn’t speak well for his range as an actor but the character worked well in Huckabees. The most surprising/remarkable performance in Huckabees was by an extremely tragic fire fighting Mark Wahlberg, who since 9/11 has been refusing to use any petroleum product, and to top it off, his wife has left him because of this feared obsession. It’s hard to explain, but whenever this former pop-white-boy-rapper Wahlberg steps onto the screen with his big fire fighter boots, looking sad and riding his bicycle to go fight a fire, your heart just goes out for him.

To give a detailed discussion of the story or plot of I ? Huckabees, I would have to give a lecture on Existentialism 101, which the movie does beautifully. So I’m left speechless in explaining what the movie is actually about. But what I can say is that it is remarkable. Plan to see it like you would plan to watch The Passion of The Christ. It requires more out of the audience than to just eat popcorn. So did I ? Huckabees put my life on track? Well it’s 4 a.m. now, this article was due two days ago, and I have to be at class by 8:30 a.m. So, I would say no. Is it an original, smart, enjoyable, well-constructed film? Yes.You can view the trailer at http://www.apple.com/trailers/fox_searchlight/i_heart_huckabees/