For five years, film critic Scott Tobias compiled "The New Cult Canon" in a regular column for The A.V. Club…
I Heart Huckabees
An existential comedy
A husband-and-wife team play detective, but not in the traditional sense. Instead, the happy duo helps others solve their existential issues, the kind that keep you up at night, wondering what it all means.
This is the type of film that will always feel self-indulgent because it's a pretty hard, or even impossible to connect to the story and to try to figure if the director is trying to say something new or if it's just another piece of garbage filled with cheap philosophies.
David O. Russel's film is basically about a company of peculiar detectives who perform their jobs in a very distinct way as their goal is to cure their 'customers' as if they (the detectives) were psychiatrists. It's the type of premise that could have eventually worked if the crew in general wasn't so focused on creating something different or if it had 'received' a different execution.
This is just another…
It doesn't really matter that this film is incoherent and senseless. All that matters is that these lovable characters believe the bullshit coming out of their mouths, and they end up feeling a lot better because of all their talking and crazy antics. It's so much fun to watch the lightbulb go off for a character every now and then. When they get it, I let myself feel like I get it, too…. Even though I don't.
The film relies heavily on dialogue and monologues to get its ideas across. Without some excellent performances, this wouldn't have worked. Dustin Hoffman and Lily Tomlin were cute with their over-the-top PDA. Mark Wahlberg is surprisingly endearing…
"The universe is an infinite sphere whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere."
Having seen David O. Russell's last three films which amassed him several Oscar nominations, I wanted to go back to one of his earlier projects that I missed. I had heard mix reviews about I Heart Huckabees, but I went into it with high expectations considering his latest films blew me away. I was really disappointed with the film despite the talented cast because the premise didn't appeal to me and the comedy didn't work for me either. The film centers on philosophical elements such as existentialism and nihilism, but it is treated in such a way that it seemed as if they were making…
I've expressed in the past I am a big fan of philosophy. All these ideas within and about the world fascinate me. I thought that would make me an existentialist. Apparently I was wrong? Looking at this film, and correct me if I'm wrong...
Existentialists believe that everything is connected and everything is important; everything happens for a reason.
Nihilists believe that nothing is connected and nothing is important; everything happens for no reason.
At least that's the gist of it.
This is very interesting subject matter and also very dark and deep when you think about it. I'll admit, those philosophical ideas are some of the reasons why I loved this, but the main reason is how well it…
I watched I Heart Huckabees a couple of weeks ago, and I thought positively of it as it surprised me, and by the end of it, I was happy with what I just watched. The second time round was still positive, but then I started to see the problems of the film much more clearly than I did during my initial viewing. The film's problems aren't enough to hold me back from watching this again, as the positive outweighs the negative but I Heart Huckabees is a weaker entry when compared to the standards that director, David O. Russell has provided us in recent years.
The film was written by Jeff Baena and David O. Russell. Russell has been known…
“Wake up, pretty girl, the joke is on you!”
I am in love with David O. Russell and this film is extraordinary.
This is a film that I had vaguely remembered, but never seen in full. It deserves to be seen as much as possible and to receive much more appreciation. It's delightful and thought-provoking and hilarious and dark and strange and amazing.
The cast is beyond stellar, but two performances are especially outstanding: Mark Wahlberg and Naomi Watts.
My feelings toward Mark Wahlberg are rather mixed, but it is amazing how good he can be when given great material. This might be his best performance to date.
Naomi Watts is the greatest actress in existence. Her performance here is unsurprisingly sublime, but it was a bit shocking to see just how hilarious she is.
I can see this film becoming an all-time favorite very soon. Thank you so very much, David O. Russell!
That was hard too sit through.
If nothing else, it's
Fun to see Mark Wahlberg get
Smacked in the gob.
Starts off as a fascinating satire about two competing ideologies and ends in a bit of a mess. It plays with themes of existentialism, consumerism, and environmentalism but never really gives them much thought. It's too bad because I really like the concept and the first two acts of the movie
An existential comedy. This is my song.
Where has the humanity gone from David O. Russell's work? In this film, we see an empathetic filmmaker concerned with the questions that bind us, and one who uses the full potential of the medium to explore his existential concerns.
I adore this film, and I hope David O. Russell can find it in himself to return to these questions, because they matter more than the slick fluff that makes up his recent diet.
P.S. Holy shit, this is peak Wahlberg.
Think a less self-absorbed Wes Anderson and you've about got it. As a side-effect, it's also more likely to be funny than simply gently whimsical.
Essentially the same movie as Flirting with Disaster, only much more superficially impressive, which ultimately leads to it being less funny. There's so much to like here that I'm sure it'll grow on me but ultimately my apathy towards religion/philosophy was a pretty big hurdle. In the end I jumped it, but I do so prefer the unpretentious insanity of Flirting with Disaster that I couldn't help but be disappointed this didn't give me the rush that did.
Also, the special effects have aged really poorly, if they ever looked good to begin with. Not that I think Mitchell was going for a slick or cutting edge look, but the more fantastical moments in this film are embarrassingly ugly.
Also also, Mark Wahlberg is totally hysterical in this. B+
"She said, "I can't believe Dustin Hoffman would agree to be in such an awful movie!'" "Well no else is hiring him."
How am I not myself?
With commentary by David O. Russell.
Russell's track is fairly monotone and dry, but he provides some worthwhile insights on both the film's production and inspiration. Sometimes it'll sound like he's rattling off names and basic ideas he's encountered, but for the most part it seems he's done his philosophical homework. Ultimately, for as flawed as the film ultimately is, both it and he are more than willing to explore those flaws, and that's part of what draws me to this more and more as the years go on.
Many favorites, as well as a small handful of films that I don't care for... in no particular order (1960-2014).
Peeping Tom, Night of the Hunter and a whole host of older films were ignored or given bad reviews upon…