Vivian Jaffe: Have you ever transcended space and time?
Albert: Yes. No. Uh…time, not space. No, I have no idea what you’re talking about.
Over the weekend, I rewatched I Heart Huckabees, seeing it for the second time. I initially avoided seeing it at all because my parents said it was the worst movie ever made. The first time I finally did watch it, I was perplexed: it’s not that I didn’t fully understand the film, but I couldn’t decided what I thought of it. I mean, I was attracted to it, but I wasn’t sure I liked it.
Upon the second viewing, I’ve decided it’s one of my favorite movies.
What’s brilliant about it is its absurdity. I really like the comedy of the absurd. In this case, it takes the form of two very dedicated “Existential Detectives” investigating one confused man’s triple coincidence and their battle against a very dark, seductive French nihilist. If nothing else, I Heart Huckabees is the cinematic version of Mid-20th Century European Philosophy for Dummies, breaking down both the existential and nihilist traditions into squabbling factions, each bent on total universe dominance.
If nothing else, there is joy in watching Marky Mark (formerly of the Funky Bunch) cry out that the universe has no meaning and that all meaning is nothingness.
The biggest fault in Huckabees is probably also its greatest strength. The humor is so delicate and nuanced that it would be easy to misinterpret its comedy as earnestness.
“We’re not in infinity; we’re in the suburbs.”