Painfully unfunny, I HEART HUCKABEES is a ridiculous mess of a movie by David
O. Russell. After his nearly universally acclaimed success with THREE KINGS,
this pathetic picture will come as a real disappointment to his fans.
The story concerns one Albert Markovski (Jason Schwartzman), an
environmentalist who is troubled by some recent coincidences in his life
involving a Sudanese emigrant whom Albert has recently seen three times in
different places. To answer the larger picture of what this means, Albert
employees Bernard and Vivian, a pair of wacky existential detectives played
hamily by Dustin Hoffman and Lily Tomlin, to probe the meaning of Albert's
place in the cosmos. Bernard and Vivian believe that everything is connected,
so they spy on Albert wherever he goes, even in the bathroom, in order to
decipher his mysteries. Isabelle Huppert plays Caterine Vauban, a rival of
Bernard and Vivian's. Caterine believes nothing is connected, and life is just
"random and cruel."
Talking a mile a minute, no one ever makes any sense, and there isn't a single
interesting character in the movie, which also stars Jude Law, Mark Wahlberg
and Naomi Watts. The film opens with a silly poem about a big rock and goes
straight downhill from there.
"Boring, boring!" Angela (Angela Grillo) yells in protest during an
environmentalist meeting chaired by Albert, as he reads another of those
pompous little poems of his. Her taunts eventually drown him out. Don't be
surprised if you similarly feel like booing from your seat to drown out this
awful waste of time and talent. I had to restrain my fingers while writing
this review. They kept wanting to type I HATE HUCKABEES, and who could blame
them. They had to sit through it too.
I HEART HUCKABEES runs a long 1:46. It is rated R for "language and a sex
scene" and would be acceptable for teenagers.
Copyright © 2004 Steve Rhodes