But I sympathize with those who throw up their hands at the screen and say, “Excusemwhat??”
I finally got around to renting the DVD of IHH a couple of days ago, and I will admit it right up front: I fell asleep in the middle each time I tried to watch it. But I won’t blame it on the movie so much as on the fact that I was sick as a dog this week. That does not absolve the movie entirely: IHH made me tired – it made my mind tired. However, tiring or not, I wanted to get through it. Like running the marathon, or getting through a slightly-too-long yoga practice – I knew it would be worth it if I could just break through the wall. Incidentally, this was true for me of The Big Lebowski, as well, which I still count among my favorite all-time movies (along with Magnolia, the Piano and now IHH).
Listening to the Director’s commentary later on (I liked it so much, I actually rewatched it, in carefully measured pieces, with David O. Russell’s commentary in the background), I realized that this movie was not necessarily intended to be seen once or to be seen all at once. Perhaps that is why it was not a commercial success. Still, it was damn good. Lots of food for thought for those who miss the intellectual banter of a college philosophy or literature class. Lots of food for thought for those who think that Rubert Thurman is all that because guess what? David O. Russell thinks that Bob Thurman is all that too, and I am fairly sure that the character played by Dustin Hoffman in IHH is based on Bob Thurman (who was a college professor of Russell’s at Amherst College, before Thurman moved on to teaching at Columbia University).
I have to run off now to teach a …. Yogilates class….oy…. but when I come back, I will try to pick up where I leave off here (see? even writing about it is something I can’t do in one sitting). I will leave you (anyone who is not bored to tears or at least into a deep sleep by now) with this thought:
The main protagonist in I Heart Huckabees is named ALBERT.
As in Albert……Camus!
As in “No Exit” (oh, wait, sorry that’s Sartre)….
But, yes, as in “L’Etranger”! The Stranger!
Life sucks and then you die, Albert Camus. That one! The original existentialist (despite desiring to be known as an “absurdist”, Camus continues to be known as a leading existentialist, in a sort of existentialist irony).
It’s a movie about existentialism and surmounting it with….yoga (although they don’t call it yoga, but rather “interconnectedness”).