Trailer for I Heart Huckabees
There are so many reasons to like I Heart Huckabees: the film stars French belle Isabelle Huppert, American veteran Dustin Hoffman (who I’ve actually come to like in his later years in supporting small roles such as A Series of Unfortunate Events, Perfume and Stranger Than Fiction, I’ve even come to appreciate his mouth-mannerisms, which I disliked so much), and cult favorite Lily Tomlin.
Huckabees’ director David O. Russell seems to belong to the club of smart, intellectual and philosophical North-American filmmakers which also includes P. T. Anderson, Michel Gondry (I know he’s French), Charlie Kaufman, Spike Jonze, Wes Anderson, and to a lesser extent Vincent Gallo, Hal Hartley, Alexander Payne and Terry Zwigoff. British film critic James MacDowell, in a semantic approach I also worked on at Jahsonic.com , dubbed these directors the “The ‘Quirky’ New Wave”, for their “quirkiness“. The denotation of MacDowell overlaps with the recent spate of what has come to be termed “Indiewood” features.
The film is indeed overtly philosophical, with special attention given to concepts such as existentialism and pure being. In my limited philosophical expertise, Dustin Hoffman and Lily Tomlin represent good old American positivist, buddhist-inspired, self-help therapy and Isabelle Huppert, personified as Caterine Vauban (whose business card reads: “Cruelty. Manipulation. Meaninglessness.)”, represents evil French Deconstructionist continental obfuscating philosophy.
Fear not, the two strains are reunited towards the end, all to the sounds of a beautiful soundtrack by Jon Brion, who you may be familiar with via his work on Magnolia (1999) and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2003).
This post is a continuation of sorts of this post.