Drunken Commentary Track: I ♥ Huckabees

Audio: Use controls to play, pause, etc.

Download 'I Heart Huckabees': Drunken Commentary Track (mp3, 25.2 MB).

In March 2005, Bride of Culture Snob and I watched I ♥ Huckabees. I started an essay on the movie but abandoned it, mostly because I felt at a loss for interesting things to say.

After choosing I ♥ Huckabees for the second in the Culture Snob “Drunken Commentary Track” series, I can confirm that my thoughts on the movie are less than cogent. You, dear reader/listener, can now hear long, awkward silences and extended digressions as Culture Snob, Bride of Culture Snob, Bad Dog Ginger, and River Cities’ Reader film critic Mike Schulz try to say something of value about the movie. Click to download the audio file (mp3 format, roughly 24 megabytes, 107 minutes), which is intended to be listened to while watching the movie.

I hope the track is as fun to listen to as it was to create, because I can’t promise much in the way of insight. Bluntly, I don’t think I added much to what I wrote more than a year ago, which I offer here — for the first time anywhere! — so I don’t have to finish it:

A movie exhibitor that my wife and I know has described David O. Russell’s I ♥ Huckabees as “putrid filth,” and while I’m guessing the reaction is not uncommon, it puzzles me. What about the movie spurs such intense revulsion? It’s merely a screwball comedy, and although it has plenty of profanity and one sex scene, as R-rated movies go, it’s pretty tame.

It’s not difficult to imagine people disliking the movie; what’s baffling is the intense and loathing character of the rebuke. “Putrid filth” is a descriptor typically reserved for gonzo porn or movies involving Tom Green (remember him?), not a film whose marketing describes it as an “existential comedy.”

A few other notes from that draft are worth repeating: The movie is absurdist without being absurd; it asks the question of how we can be idealistic without the entanglements of ego, politics, or practicality; and it might be thought of as Magnolia as a comedy.

Enjoy the track. The next audio endeavor will be more incisive and penetrating, I promise. It could hardly be less enlightening than this.

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