Saturday, October 23, 2004

Movie night .."I Heart Huckabees"

LOL I thought that What the Bleep would be the end of my mind bending movie experiences. Then, I went out and saw I Heart Hucakbees last night: similar theme, much easier to grasp, and really funny. The premise is this: Albert (Jason Schwartzman) sees this tall black kid in a picture store, once again as the doorman at a building, and in a car going past him. He freaks out about the coincidence of it, and goes to a pair of "Existential Detectives" ( played brilliantly by a very gracefully aging Lilly Tomlin and Dustin Hoffman) to figure it out. Of course chaos when the pair starts delving into his life, every part of it, including watching his every move. This digs up Albert's complicated life: He is the head of a save the green space coalition that has brought in a "friend" ( the kind that makes you appreciate your enemies) Brad ( Jude Law). Brad is an executive for Huckabee's, a Walmart like store chain, and there to supposedly help Albert with fundraising for the coalition. As the movie progresses, Brad comes to the detectives to try to make Albert look bad. Add in Brad's girlfriend Dawn ( Naomi Watts), who gets pulled into the investigation with life problems of her own, and things get uglier. Albert gets teamed up with a life buddy, Tommy ( Mark Wahlburg) a fire fighter who is having a existential crisis. Tommy leads him to the Detectives arch rival, Catherine (Isabelle Huppert), who approach to Albert's predicament is a polar opposite of the Dectectives. The Detectives point it that the world and everything in it is connected, and Albert's problem is tied to Brad. Catherine's approach is that life sucks, nothing is connected and you deal with it ( very Sartre). Meanwhile, everybody's life spins out of control till the end, when Albert realizes that Brad and he are kindred spirits in misery, and that both the Detectives and Catherine were right. This is an ensemble cast, which normally doesn't give any of the starts enough exposure, but I liked the balance of the movie. Mark Wahlberg makes this movie, as a good hearted yet troubled( after the "September Incident" as Lilly Tomlin's character Vivian remarks) fire fighter that turns into the real friend Albert didn't have in Brad. Also, Naomi Watts is hilarious as the model who has appearance issues and regresses to dressing in overalls and a bonnet (think Little House on the prairie) to deal with them, losing her spokesmodel job with Huckabee's.
It's a good thing these kinds of dectectives don't exist in real life, they would be overran with business. I found it hilarious that, as someone suffering through my own existential funk, a movie finally was made to tackle the Why-the-Hell-am-I-Here question in a funny way. I enjoyed it.

I Heart Huckabee's now showing at the Kentucky Theatre.