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Sunday, December 10, 2017 
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Cinematronic by Michael Snyder
Film
cinematronic
  I Heart Huckabees cinematronic
  director

David O. Russell

cast

Dustin Hoffman, Isabelle Huppert, Jude Law, Jason Schwartzman, Lily Tomlin, Mark Wahlberg, Naomi Watts

year

2004

rating rating cinematronic
  Writer/director David O. Russell is no slouch. That's why "I Heart Huckabees," his ambitious so-called "existential comedy," is a letdown. Russell's previous release, the darkly funny, scaldingly graphic anti-war movie "Three Kings," would be a career high point for many filmmakers. His features display a piquant wit and fondness for odd characters in uncomfortable situations. But the maddeningly named "I Heart Huckabees" is nowhere near the powerhouse "Three Kings" in humor or significance. It's a nice to come upon idea-driven comedy, and "Huckabees," with Jason Schwartzman as harried environmental activist Albert Markovski, doesn't trot out the usual pointless pratfalls and meaningless vulgarity. Its pratfalls have a point; its vulgarity has meaning. When Albert hires a married detective team (Dustin Hoffman, Lily Tomlin) to unravel coincidences in his life, their intercession is both blessing and curse. A conniving department store executive (Jude Law), his stricken girlfriend (Naomi Watts) and a troubled fireman (Mark Wahlberg) compound Albert's problems. If only the set-ups, payoffs and dialogue weren't so flat, strained or lost in psychobabble that's meant to amuse and, instead, wearies. Russell and the cast, including Isabelle Huppert, set a high standard and fail to meet it. Despite the outrageous vignettes, enthusiastic performances and sizeable intellect behind "I Heart Huckabees," it doesn't jell.  
cinematronic
cinematronic


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