Friday, June 10, 2005

I ♥ I ♥ Huckabees and I ♥ Blogpostings entitled I ♥ I ♥ Huckabees

Well, we finally got around to watching the I ♥ HuckabeesDVDSee this movie's record at the Internet Movie Database, and we weren't disappointed. That makes I think the fourth or fifth movie in a row that was "supposed to be good" and actually was. Let me see:

HolesSee this movie's record at the Internet Movie DatabaseThis we Tivo'ed it off the air, but we may well end up getting the DVD, it was so good. We loved it. Original, fresh, unpredictable, non-formulaic: sweet, but not syrupy; honest but not cynical. We laughed, we cried, yadda yadda, and we recommend it to people.
CloserSee this movie's record at the Internet Movie DatabaseThis we got on DVD when it first came out. So refreshing to see a movie based on dialog, even though there is a lot of "potty mouth", to put it delicately, and in excess this can begin to seem like laziness on the part of the writer. Clive Owen deserved the oscar, as far as we're concerned.
IncrediblesSee this movie's record at the Internet Movie DatabaseThis we also got on DVD as soon as it came out. Again, we had heard good things about it, but it turned out to be much better than we had expected (though you have to get past a bit of a slow start): Pixar just continues to crank out good ideas. I've already talked about this very fun movie, and in particular the mystery of the epigraphic archaic Greek/Etruscan inscription.
SidewaysSee this movie's record at the Internet Movie DatabaseAgain, bought the DVD as soon as it came out. Again, all the reviews had been good. Again, it was just wonderful. Just great filmmaking. Definitely deserved the Oscar it won for screenplay.

That's a pretty good run! We are tired of getting sucked into the rat-hole of movies that are "supposed to be good but aren't" — some day I'll try to publish a full list of the above, but that will have to wait until a later post. I can say, however, that wasn an almost existential (heh) coincidence in that Isabelle Huppert, whom I adore and who stole every scene she was in in in I ? Huckabees, turned out to have been in two of the worst of the "..but weren't" films we've scene lately: firstly the overhyped 8 femmes (ugh; with its puerile eternal-adolescent-French-male-fantasy lesbian scene; and I was really looking forward to loving that film!- but honestly what was Ebert thinking?!) and Merci pour le chocolat, which I had always wanted to see (partly, I admit, because it's one of the oddly large number of "Chocolat(e)" movies that came out between 1992 and 2000: another list I'll have to make some day). No reflection on Isabelle; it's just odd that whenever we watch a movie that has been hyped to death and are surprised and pleased to see that it's as good as we were told, we always think of all the other movies, including all the indies we were really hoping to like, that just made us wonder "why was that supposed to be good", and it is amusing to see that connection with Isabelle between the two sets of films: the "... but werent" and the "... and actually were".

Before starting this post I did a little Google search and actually given what an obvious idea the title of this posting is, I was astonished that there's only slightly more than a page of results for the string I?I?Huckabees. But, duh — there are TEN pages of results for "I Heart I Heart Huckabees". I guess most people just CAN'T be bothered to find the heart in the Unicode spec.

I just loved this movie. Loved it. It was fresh, original unpredictable, fun, silly, funny, just plain nutty, and sweet. Mark Wahlberg was just phenomenal. And this is the first movie where I've actually liked the character Jason Schwartzman plays, though actually I have never sat through a whole screening of one of his movies: what bits of Rushmore I saw made me suspect it was going to go into the "... but weren't" pile, though maybe I should see the whole thing before I decide. That was one of the things I liked most about this movie: I liked the people.

I loved Dustin's mop-top. I always love Lily. Jude Law was perfect for the part though he is unfortunately not as adept as some of the rest of his generation of British actors with American accents and it definitely slipped a few times.

I said it was fresh and unpredictable and so on, and of course there are so many movies that are so aware of being new and differena and shocking and just so very avant garde that they just end up being irritating. This was not one of those movies. As insane and crazy and just over the top as the ideas in this movie were (everybody's going to think of "Existential Detective" when I say that), it just somehow manages to pull it off without becoming a farce or a parody or pompous and self-important.


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