I Heart Huckabees

Release Date: October 1, 2004
Limited release

Movie of the Day for Thursday, July 22, 2004
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Position Staff In Brief
9/126 Kim Hollis I love smart, talky movies. Mark Wahlberg and Jason Schwartzman are note-perfect.
18/55 Reagen Sulewski Will appeal greatly to those who can find the profound in the nonsensical. In other words, people like me.
46/133 Dan Krovich Not quite brilliant, but fun and entertaining

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In this oddly-titled production, Rainman himself, Dustin Hoffman, and everyone's favorite Gal Friday to POTUS, Lily Tomlin, portray the Jaffes, married detectives but not the cool Hart to Hart type of sleuths.

Instead, they are existential problem solvers. If a person isn't happy with their life's direction, they seek out this quirky duo. The first ever client for the Jaffes is one Albert Markovski (played by Jason Schwartzman, the awkward teen from Rushmore), an employee at Huckabee's, a retail store chain. He has been suffering feelings of inadequacy in the workplace due in large part to the presence of the seemingly better off Brad Stand (2004 Academy Awards Best Actor nominee Jude Law).

The Jaffes venture to Huckabee's to take a first hand look at what Markovski is up against. Not surprisingly, the detectives determine that the grass is not greener on the other side. For his part, Stand is no happier. His feelings of inadequacy seem to be predicated upon his relationship with Huckabee's spokesmodel Dawn Campbell (Naomi Watts, who comprises half of that sex scene in Mulholland Drive...you know the one).

The Jaffes want to help Albert determine what it all means but during the course of their discussions with Brad, they come to realize he is equally damaged. The do-gooders decide to take him on as a client as well, thereby creating an awkward situation. The couple comes to realize they are morally obligated to make two antagonists simultaneously happy. Helping them in this difficult endeavor are a philosophically inclined firefighter (Mark Wahlberg of the Funky Bunch) and a French radical (the suddenly omnipresent Isabelle Huppert).

Existential comedy is not a genre Hollywood explores often. It's a shame, because classics such as Defending Your Life demonstrate that when done well, this can be one of the most cerebral and affecting modes of cinema. With such an impressive cast, I Heart Huckabee's has positioned itself to prove exactly that. (David Mumpower/BOP)

Vital statistics for I Heart Huckabees
Main Cast Jude Law, Naomi Watts, Mark Wahlberg
Supporting Cast Dustin Hoffman, Isabelle Huppert, Jason Schwartzman, Lily Tomlin, Kevin Dunn, Angela Grillo, Isabelle Huppert, Tippi Hedren, Shania Twain
Director David O. Russell
Screenwriter David O. Russell, Jeff Baena
Distributor Fox Searchlight
Trailer Click Here for Trailer
Official Site http://www.huckabees.com/
Rating R
Running Time 106 minutes
Screen Count 4
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture



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