Director: David O. Russell
Writer(s): David O. Russell and Jeff Baena
Filming: Filmed in Los Angeles from June 2003
Box Office: Made a total of $20,072,172 internationally, $12,785,432 of which came from the US, and $802,009 in Australia. Took $2,902,468 on its wide opening weekend (Oct 22nd) in the US, and £155,592 upon opening weekend in the UK.
Runtime: 107 minutes
Rating: R in the US, 15 in the UK, M in Australia
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.
Convinced that a series of coincidences involving a doorman hold some secret to life’s largest riddles, Albert Markovski seeks the help of a detective agency unlike any other–which leads him down a path that questions the essence of existence itself. In an attempt to ferret out the meaning of these flukes, he consults Bernard and Vivian Jaffe, AKA the Existential Detectives, a pair of married metaphysicians who fearlessly investigate the mysteries at the core of their clients’ secret innermost lives. Bernard and Vivian kick off their existential exploration of Albert Markovski by probing his past and present reality. Along the way, they uncover his festering conflict with Brad Stand, a golden boy executive climbing the corporate ladder at Huckabees, a popular chain of retail super-stores that wants to sponsor Albert’s Open Spaces Coalition for the PR value. The Existential Detectives are convinced that Brad (seemingly Albert’s opposite) is the key to cracking Albert’s case, but then Brad turns the tables on their investigation, by hiring the detectives himself. As Bernard and Vivian begin to dig deeper into Brad’s ambition and his relationship with Huckabees’ hot blonde spokesmodel Dawn, Albert begins to lose faith and rebels against their conclusions. Pairing up with another of the duo’s clients–firefighter, tough guy and uncompromising soul searcher Tommy–he joins forces with the Jaffes’ arch nemesis, the sexy French philosopher Caterine Vauban, who valiantly battles for the contrasting point of view. Now, as Being chases Nothingness, Albert, Tommy, Brad, Dawn, Bernard, Vivian and Caterine chase one another in a wild romp through life’s biggest questions to find the true answer.
Jason Schwartzman … as Albert Markovski
Isabelle Huppert … as Caterine Vauban
Dustin Hoffman … as Bernard
Lily Tomlin … as Vivian
Jude Law … as Brad Stand
Mark Wahlberg … as Tommy Corn
Naomi Watts … as Dawn Campbell
Jonah Hill … as Bret
Premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2004. Had a limited release in the US on October 1st 2004, before going nationwide there on October 22nd. Followed in the UK on November 26th 2004, then Australia on December 16th. The film was then released throughout Europe in early-mid 2005. Finally reached Poland in August 2006.
Isla plays Heather, a perky promotions girl/spokesperson for the Huckabees chain, brought in to replace Dawn after she goes off the rails. The plan is to have Heather as the body/face, and use Dawn’s voice in the commercial – Heather is more than happy about this, but Dawn is not! Heather is enthusiastic, ditsy and confident, and a self-confessed “big fan” of Dawn’s. She is proud to be the new Miss Huckabees and is enjoying it!
• Isla has a small cameo role as Heather, the new Huckabees girl. She shares her scenes with good friend Naomi Watts.
• Isla speaks with an American accent in this role.
• Isla went on to work with Jason Schwartzman again in Bored To Death in 2011. She and Jude Law also both voice characters in the upcoming Rise Of The Guardians.
• Four fictional websites were created for marketing the film including ones for The Huckabees Corporation, an official website for the film’s fictional chain store, and Jaffe & Jaffe, the existential detectives.
• The title is often said as ‘I Love Huckabees’, but it is intended to be ‘I Heart Huckabees’.
• The Huckabees chain in the film is a big ‘all-American’ brand, and Heather and Dawn are two whole-some American girls. Isla and Naomi are both, of course, Australian.
• The full version of Heather’s commercial for Huckabees can be seen in the special features on the DVD.
– Isla Fisher: “In this scene, Naomi Watts’ character has just beaten my character up. That’s Aussie girls for you!” (talking about a still from the film showing Dawn holding Heather by the hair.)
– Naomi Watts: “What I love about Isla is that she is a true comedian. She just spreads life and energy into everyone.”
– Dawn: “This script only has my lines, and I don’t see another character here…”
– Producer: “I told you, you are the trademark voice of Huckabees.”
– Dawn: “Right! So what’s the problem?”
– Heather: “She’s the voice, I’m the face! Yeah yeah, all this, and brains too!”
[Heather wiggles her bum and giggles]
• ABC.net.au: “I Heart Huckabees sounds absurd on paper but somehow it makes perfect sense in the cinema. It is surreal, political, kooky and fun. But it is bound to piss off those who will think it is too highbrow, or others who will accuse it of not being highbrow enough.”
• Guardian.co.uk: “But it is a delightful little movie filled with superb performances by actors who have not given superb performances in some time.”
• BBC: “But the bigger problem lies in O Russell’s philosophical (as opposed to psychological) approach to his characters which rips them apart with a psychotic detachment that culminates in zero emotional impact. Sadly, the only heart here is in the title.”
• CinemaBlend: ” Huckabees is a movie you don’t really have to watch all of to get the most out of it. A few trips to the restroom for instance aren’t likely to leave you stranded. Should you nod off for twenty minutes or so during the film, you’ll wake up and probably not realize that any portion of the movie has been missed. I’m convinced it was constructed solely for the amusement of the people making it, its desperate clawing to be quirky merely a symptom of David O. Russell having a good laugh with his cast. The weird thing is that in spite of all that, Huckabees is amusing.”
• UrbanCinefile.com.au: “I Heart Huckabees is frothy lightweight fun. There are some laugh out loud situations, but most of the humour is the kind you digest slowly.”
• Roger Ebert: “Individual moments and lines and events in “I Heart Huckabees” are funny in and of themselves. Viewers may be mystified but will occasionally be amused.”
• NYTimes.com: “… the film is a snort-out-loud-funny master class of controlled chaos.”
• Variety: “Clever but distancing, this existential comedy bounces along on the backs of its tasty cast, witty writing and stylistic verve.”
This is an interesting film – very different! It’s also a different type of film for Isla, and unlike anything she had done before, or has done since. She only has a couple of scenes, but they are memorable, and her big scene with Naomi Watts is very funny! We get to see a bit more of the famous Isla Fisher comedy sparkle in this, and while she’s not in it much, it’s still just about worth tracking down and watching.
Isla attended the LA premiere for this film in September 2004, and posed at the event with co-stars Naomi Watts and Jason Schwartzman, director David O. Russell, and Mr Baron Cohen.
News & Updates for I <3 Huckabees at Isla Fisher Web