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I Heart Huckabees (2004)

R  |   |  Comedy  |  22 October 2004 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 55,501 users   Metascore: 55/100
Reviews: 381 user | 182 critic | 40 from Metacritic.com

A husband-and-wife team play detective, but not in the traditional sense. Instead, the happy duo helps others solve their existential issues, the kind that keep you up at night, wondering what it all means.


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2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Angela Grillo ...
Mr. Stephen Nimieri
Benny Hernandez ...


Determined to solve the coincidence of seeing the same conspicuous stranger three times in a day, Albert hires a pair of existentialist detectives, who insist on spying on his everyday life while sharing their views on life and the nature of the universe. Written by Benjamin Conway

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


An existential comedy



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and a sex scene | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




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Release Date:

22 October 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

I Love Huckabee's  »

Box Office


$22,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$292,177 (USA) (1 October 2004)


$12,784,713 (USA) (18 February 2005)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Typically, David O. Russell would let the cameras continue rolling after the end of each scene, urging the actors to goof around and improvise. He felt this was the best way for them to lose any sense of self-consciousness. Jude Law and Dustin Hoffman later told him that they found it a very liberating way to work. See more »


When Tommy's wife is leaving him, Bernard shows him a picture of the universe. He looks over to the left side of the picture when pointing out "our galaxy." However, in Tommy's next line, he points to the right side of the picture and says, "There's us over here." See more »


[first lines]
Albert Markovski: [Blurry shot of tree]
[Albert's thoughts are voiced aloud to us, but not the audience on camera]
Albert Markovski: Mother-fucking, cocksucker, mother-fucking, shit-fucker, what am I doing?
[Albert walks out from behind tree, towards camera. As he gets closer to the camera the scene comes into focus]
Albert Markovski: What am I doing? I don't know what I'm doing. I'm doing the best that I can. I know that's all I can ask of myself. Is that good enough? Is my work doing any good? Is anybody paying attention? Is it ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

"How am I not myself?" See more »


Referenced in Family Guy: Petergeist (2006) See more »


You Learn True to Yourself
Written by Jon Brion
Score material based on this and other songs
See more »

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User Reviews

"How am I not myself?"
7 November 2004 | by (New York State) – See all my reviews

One of the biggest influences for the ideas presented in David O. Russell's 'I Heart Huckabees' was 9/11. He is quoted as saying in Film Comment Magazine, 'For about two months after 9/11, people were asking really profound questions about reality and existence-and then it was back to business as usual.' Indeed this seems to be the case whenever bad things seem to happen in life as people search for the reasoning behind the events and for a meaning to their own existence. Disillusionment often takes place for many affected by tragedy, as has happened to the characters in 'I Heart Huckabees.' From an activist fighting urban sprawl to a firefighter blaming the worlds ills on petroleum hungry nations, 'I Heart Huckabees' presents profound questions about existence with a unique comic approach.

After seeking the reasoning behind a coincidental meeting, Albert (Jason Schwartzman), an activist/poet, seeks the help of some existential detectives, Bernard and Vivian (Dustin Hoffman and Lily Tomlin). They agree to study his case by spying on his every day activity and getting into his psyche. In an attempt to help Albert seek answers to his profound questions, Bernard and Vivian join Albert with a disillusioned firefighter named Tommy (Mark Whalberg) who seeks answers to the same questions on life. However, Tommy has a strong bias that all the world's problems result from the exploitation of petroleum. During their investigation into Albert's life, Bernard and Vivian realize that Albert's problems often stem from his struggle to fight the Huckabees Corporation from building on the lands Albert tries in vain to protect- particularly with a corporate salesman named Brad (Jude Law). As Bernard and Vivian further investigate, they realize that Brad and his girlfriend Dawn (Naomi Watts), the sexy image behind Huckabees advertising, have a few of their own existential problems to deal with. Especially Dawn who is completely disillusioned by her own beautiful image, as well as Brad's phony persona. Two schools of thought come into play. One, Bernard and Vivian's viewpoint that everything is connected and the world is not a negative place, but chooses not to deal with its problems. On the other hand, Tommy believes in the viewpoints of a French author named Caterine Vauban (Isabell Huppert) who says that the world is simply a mess, pain and anger are present and the only way to deal with it is to just except it. So who is right and who is wrong? The film's message is that neither is truly wrong or right, but the two must meet somewhere in the middle. What's more, perceptions have an important role in this film. Life is often what you make it. A person can be a phony individual and simply jump on the bandwagon of what is popular to seek approval and acceptance. Or, they could ask themselves if they really believe in certain viewpoints and question the right and wrong that exists in our complex, modern world.

At first glance, with the film's slapstick, yet witty intellectual dialogue combined with unique visuals, it would seem that this is the product of Charlie Kaufman. But Russell's ideas are undeniably his own and have been pondered upon in his mind for years. The director of the Gulf-War drama/comedy, 'Three Kings,' and 'Flirting with Disaster' has made one of 2004s best films. 'I Heart Huckabees' is filled with three-dimensional characters and crisp-sounding dialogue that will leave you chuckling hours after seeing the film. Most importantly, it has ideas that most Hollywood executives fear to take on because of our very conventional societal viewpoints. ****

223 of 287 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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I hate this movie AND I know about existentialism. general_ed2000
i hate huckabees ellie_maracas
Why does everyone hate this? RunAliceRun
My Existential Analysis of this 'Existential Comedy' audib13
Disappointed to find imdb's minimum rating is 1 star. orpheus_78
Mark Whalberg was my favorite. ihategorgonzola
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