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This week:
I Heart Huckabees

Filthy says:
"Junior College Philosophy Class as comedy.

When we share our wisdom, we all become stronger. Like that guy who wrote to tell me not to purchase seafood at garage sales. You know, I probably already suspected that after buying bad scallops a few times, but it took a stranger to remind me and make me realize that it wasn't the used tube socks I bought that made me vomit blood; it was the seafood. And one look Harelip when she's dancing alone between pool tables to some Steve Miller song at the Tavern, grinding her ass against a corner pocket and swinging and lisping "fuck me" over and over is a powerful reminder of what could happen to your kids if you drink while pregnant. So if you can't stop drinking, don't be a woman.

I recently learned something I want to share. You know those boxes of "liqueur-filled" chocolates they sell in Hallmark? Well, you can't get drunk off those things no matter how many you eat. They are engineered to contain less alcohol than you'll use just eating the damn things. Probably you already knew that, because most folks seem to figure out life's lessons faster than me. And then lord it over me like I'm a retard. Which I'm not, and I have the certificate from the Department of Education saying so. Anyway, so you know that, but what you may not know is that when you eat 14 boxes of those things in the storeroom of a Hallmark store, it's pretty fucking hard to hide the evidence. You can't trash the boxes or Glee will see them. If you just reseal the boxes, people know they don't feel right.

I know what you're thinking and I'm way ahead of you: shit in the boxes. With a little sphincter control you can get each box the right weight, and after eating all that candy, you're ready to produce. But, shit stinks, and even if you move the crap boxes to the bottom of the inventory, they get sold to some smelly lady who buys everything the store has as thank yous for her best Mary Kay customers. And ladies who buy Mary Kay love shitty chocolate. They tear open those boxes as soon as they're alone. And when they find shit, they overreact.

Seriously, I haven't seen an overreaction like that since the bees attacked that fat kid in the park and he swelled up like Violet Beauregard. Some people are such prima donnas. Bottom line: the wisdom I am sharing is don't crap in a candy box unless you own it.

The reason I was eating the chocolates is because I just got back from seeing the shitacular I Heart Huckabees and I felt miserable. Talk about your candy boxes full of shit. It looks nice enough from the outside, but it's got a whiff of some jerk's turd. Open it up, and sure enough, it's teeming with shit, unedited and unrestrained. In this case it's writer-director David O. Russell's.

This movie's just an unfunny, self-serving pile of dung disguised as comedy, but without any jokes. At least not any funny ones. I think there were a few of the sort that would get rejected by the New Yorker for being too pompous, but not good ones. That dick Russell even calls it an "existential comedy" just to let you know how hard he's going to beat you over the head with how smart he thinks he is. He's so fucking busy proving he's clever to ever bother telling a decent story.

Jason Schwartzmann plays an environmental activist who goes to "existential" detectives Dustin Hoffman and Lily Tomlin and asks them to solve a coincidence for him. He has seen the same man three times in different circumstances and wants to know what that means. He is also losing control of a coalition he's created to stop the megachain store Huckabees from building on a local swamp. Jude Law is the Huckabees rep and the one stealing the coalition away. Weel, shit, there's a bunch more plot and too many characters to bother with. It boils down to a showdown between nihilism and existentialism. How that's supposed to be funny outside of a group of Mensa people wearing Mensa T-shirts and drinking old wine, I don't know. But it's presented as artificially as the color of Jell-o.

Every story is artificial. Hell, that's what a story is. But the good ones are sneaky and trick us into buying in. Maybe the characters are believable, or likable, or so interesting you forget the whole thing's not true. Maybe the story is intriguing or funny, or in some way good enough to make us suspend our disbelief. That's what hooks us. But I Heart Huckabees is all madcap pretense and fakery with nothing to get us involved. had nothing to get me involved. It's a series of skits and mouthpieces to let Russell think he's too fucking smart to crap in a candy box. But you did, Mr. Russell, you did. You crapped in the candy box and hopefully you learned from me now.

I Heart Huckabees is unfocused, with overlapping irrelevant subplots and scenes of pointless dialog. There are too many characters for us to care about any single one. And you get the sense even Russell doesn't give a shit about them. The script feels like a rushed first draft where the writer hadn't yet taken out the parts he loved but that didn't work. Partially like a term paper written overnight the day before it's due. You know the kind you finish at six a.m., thinking in your sleep-deprived state that it's the best fucking thing ever written. Then right after you turn it in reality sets in: you penned a shit-stained, incomprehensible stream of your own consciousness. Maybe you shouldn't have used the cuss words and included that entire paragraph about what an asshole your teacher is.

The cast is game, although it's probably time everyone recognizes that Schwartzman will never again be as good as he was in Rushmore. Mark Wahlberg looks more and more like the big-foreheaded type of character actor that plays hobos warming up around a bonfire in a trash can. Naomi Watts looks fan-fucking-tastic in tight shirts. She not only looks sexy, she looks like she'd enjoy sex. Jude Law, who plays a Huckabees tool doesn't have much to go on. He's got no chance to be anything but a rag doll beaten around by the lame-ass story. And Tomlin and Hoffman are pretty dull as the detectives. They never get to do much but spout lines from "The Big Book of Philosophy". Every now and then Russell has them kiss to give us the impression that they actually have lives. Otherwise, nobody here seems to have existed much before or after the boundaries of this story, and that makes for boring people.

I Heart Huckabees a One Finger movie, simply because too much effort was put into pleasing David O. Russell, and too little was put into pleasing me. Mr. Russell, next time you want to crap in a candy box, do it in private. Just not in the Hallmark's stock room. That's my place.

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