Friday, October 22, 2004


Now playing at an art house near you:

(Dir. David O. Russell, 2004)

This is the ultimate WTF? movie. It's been a few days since I've seen it and I'm still trying to process. Many critics don't even try to describe the plot or premise, but I'd just say it's about a poet activist (Jason Schartzman) who hires a married couple played by Dustin Hoffman and Lily Tomlin who bill themselves as existential detectives to sort out problems with his soul.

Oh yeah, there's an overly slick spokesperson (Jude Law) for a Target/Wall Mart type chain and his flighty model wife (Naomi Watts), as well as Mark Wahlberg as a fireman who hates petroleum so much that he rides his bike to fight fires. That's as good as I can do.

The characters all run around spouting lines like "There's no such thing as nothing," and "Nobody sits like this rock sits. You rock rock. The rock just sits and is. You show us how to just sit here and that's what we need."

Some of this is fun, some of it is strained, some of it is just purely baffling. I mean at the end I was more confused than I was by the MATRIX sequels. I mean, now what am I see supposed to be reality and what isn't?

It also doesn't help that HUCKABEES seems stitched together from other movie's styles. The soundtrack by Jon Brion and the color scheme recall the work of Paul Thomas Anderson (MAGNOLIA, PUNCH DRUNK LOVE). The other Anderson, Wes Anderson, comes to mind of course from the casting of Schwartzman (RUSHMORE) and the eccentrically quirky tone.

Also, the screenplay appears to be heavily suggested by the work of Charlie Kaufman (ADAPTATION, ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND). So did I like it? I didn't hate it. That's the best I can do.

More later...

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