I had heard some good things about David O. Russell’s 2004 film I Heart Huckabees, so I decided to give it a try tonight. I borrowed the DVD from a friend and sat back waiting to be impressed. Well, let’s just say nothing of the sort happened.
The plot is too complicated to really explain in this entry, so I’m just going to gloss over it. Jason Schwartzman (looking greasy and disgusting as hell) stars as a guy named Albert who crusades to preserve open spaces. He doesn’t want marshland or forest areas to be torn up so that mega-department stores like Huckabees (clearly a Wal-Mart clone) can be built.
In the middle of a campaign to save a particular tract of land, he becomes obsessed with something he calls his “coincidence.” He keeps running into a tall, skinny African guy, and he wants to know if that’s significant in any way. Albert consults two existential detectives (Dustin Hoffman and Lily Tomlin) about the case and they plot gets even more complicated from there.
I thought the movie aimed pretty high, but came up well short of its goal. It didn’t make me think or give me pause or even make me laugh. Instead, it just made me glance at the clock repeatedly to see how much longer it would be until my misery ended. With a cast of characters that includes Hoffman, Tomlin, Jude Law, Mark Wahlberg, and Naomi Watts, I certainly expected a lot more out of this film.
My recommendation is that you avoid I Heart Huckabees at all costs. It’s a boring waste of time. I give it 1 star out of 5.