I Heart Huckabees


(out of 5)

is an environmental activist who wonders if his efforts to save a marshland from a big Wal-Martish superstore are really making a difference to the fate of the world. He is pushed out of his coalition to save the marshland by the store’s egotistical corporate executive (), an attention-getter more interested in making his company look good than actually saving the environment. Abandoned and alone, Schwartzman is inspired by his coincidentally repetitive run-ins with the same Sudanese doorman to seek out “existential detectives”  and  and have them solve the enigmas of his life’s problems. They, in turn, drag both Law and his supermodel girlfriend () onto their case file, while Schwartzman is introduced to another one of their clients, a disillusioned firefighter ( at his funniest) who is obsessed with petroleum usage on Earth. The detectives’ work is made more complicated when their nihilistic French rival (, who steals the show) shows up to tell our hero that where his agents think everything is connected and meaningful, she believes nothing is. David O. Russell’s devilishly clever film is one of the most original experiences of the year, a delicious mess that can’t turn a corner without bringing up a thousand ridiculously complicated questions about human existence. The witty dialogue never stops for a second, and while there are times that one wishes the few poignant moments (such as when Schwartzman faces his indifferent mother, played by his real-life mother ) were in greater supply, you have to admit it’s rare you see a movie like this, and when you do (Breakfast Of Champions), it’s rarely this good.

Fox Searchlight Pictures, Qwerty Films, Kanzeon, Scott Rudin Productions, N1 European Film Produktions GmbH & Co. KG

USA/Germany, 2004

Directed by

Screenplay by David O. Russell,

Cinematography by

Produced by , , David O. Russell

Music by 

Production Design by

Costume Design by

Film Editing by

Toronto International Film Festival:  2004

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