Here’s What Makes I Heart Huckabees the Perfect Intro to Philosophy


David O. Russell’s 2014 unbiased movie I Heart Huckabees is the whole lot however an everyday comedy. It is an uncommon, weird, joyous, and thought-provoking love-letter to philosophy. The Guardian described I Heart Huckabees as the first post-9/11 comedy; after the September 11 assaults, folks have been asking questions on the which means of life. Who are we? What are we doing? Is that adequate? Is it hopeless to attempt to change issues? What if nothing is smart? I Heart Huckabees tries to discover solutions for this type of existential questions with a witty humorousness.

The movie acquired blended opinions from viewers and critics, with The New Yorker noting, “Huckabees is the actual factor — an genuine catastrophe — however the image is so odd that it ought to encourage, in no less than part of the viewers, emotions of fervent loyalty.” While some think about it a pleasant masterpiece, that is actually not a film for everybody, however I Heart Huckabees offers the viewers with entry to philosophical concepts.

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I Heart Huckabees targeted extra explicitly on philosophy than most different movies. In reality, the complete level of the movie is a confrontation between existentialism and nihilism. The first type of philosophical inquiry explores worth of human existence, the second says that life is meaningless. The protagonist of the movie, together with the viewers, is confronted with a alternative: both imagine that the whole lot is related and life is value dwelling or agree that nothing is related, and the world is solely a multitude.

The Existential Crisis of I Heart Huckabees

I Heart Huckabees is a film about characters having existential crises. The movie facilities on Albert Markovski (performed by Jason Schwartzman), a foul poet who desires to save “open areas” from the development of suburban areas. His present mission is stopping the new Huckabees retailer from being constructed. In emotional opening scene, Albert questions the objective of his work as an environmental activist and is tormented with ideas about the which means of his life. Strange coincidences lead him to an uncommon couple who name themselves existential detectives, Bernard and Vivian Jaffe (performed by Dustin Hoffman and Lily Tomlin), promise to assist Albert break freed from his existential disaster.

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Bernard and Vivian research Albert’s case by spying on him in all places; “There’s nothing too small. You know when police discover the slightest piece of DNA and construct a case on it? If we would see you floss or masturbate that could possibly be the key to your complete actuality”, Vivian says. They notice that Albert’s battle with the all the time good and smiling Huckabees salesman Brad Stand (performed by Jude Law) means lots. So, Brad additionally turns into a shopper of the existential detectives.

The Jaffes peek into the souls of their purchasers utilizing philosophical strategies. Both symbolize two totally different views that work completely collectively and assist the couple to categorical a typical optimistic thought about common interconnecting. Bernard takes a metaphysical perspective and research the elementary nature of actuality (merging Buddhism with ontology). He is a dreamy thinker with stunning theories which might be troublesome to evaluate with actuality.

One such idea is ‘the blanket.’ Bernard tells Albert that the blanket can simply symbolize all the matter and power in the universe. The blanket is the whole lot. Vivian pays extra consideration to particulars, somewhat than broad metaphysical concepts of Bernard. She represents one other department of philosophy, epistemology (or the idea of data). She fastidiously research purchasers’ circumstances and all the time takes notes, performed to perfection by Lily Tomlin of Netflix’s Grace and Frankie. The totally different approaches of detectives lead their purchasers to existentialism, a philosophical perception stemming from Jean-Paul Sartre, Soren Kierkegaard, and Simone de Beauvoir, theorizing that we are able to create which means in our personal lives even when there isn’t a absolute which means.


Of course, it isn’t that straightforward; at first Albert feels Bernard and Vivian’s stunning talks about common interconnection are usually not serving to. So, when Bernard and Vivian introduce him to their different shopper Tommy as Albert’s “different,” Albert goes with Tommy to the darkish facet of philosophy.

Dark Side of Philosophy

Tommy Corn (performed by Mark Wahlberg) is a disillusioned firefighter who thinks the greatest drawback in the world is the exploitation of petroleum. He solely believes in Caterine Vauban’s concepts. Caterine (performed by Isabelle Huppert) represents nihilism; she is France’s darkish girl of philosophy, the writer of the guide If Not Now. “Existence is a merciless train in struggling, the world is a stage for absurd meaningless drama, our universe is the unexplained circus,” she wrote on her fictional web site. Although Caterine Vauban is a personality in I Heart Huckabees, she was largely impressed by the works of Albert Camus, Friedrich Nietzsche, Alan Pratt, Martin Heidegger, and others.


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Albert should overcome Catherine’s most nihilistic concepts so as to discover which means in the ache of existence. Jean-Paul Sartre did the identical in his exceptional textual content Existentialism Is a Humanism. One of the best French philosophers, Sartre stated that individuals are “condemned to be free” so “the future of man is positioned inside himself.” So, we are able to solely take care of the concept that nothing is smart by creating our personal sense.

In the movie, Caterine Vauban had been a pupil of Bernard and Vivian Jaffe. Albert and Tommy started to suspect that the acquaintance with nihilistic philosophy was a part of the plan of existential detectives. Indeed, in any case their philosophical adventures, Bernard’s idea of the blanket grew to become clearer to them. As Bernard says, “When you get the blanket factor you may loosen up, as a result of the whole lot you may ever need or be, you have already got and are.” The identical discoveries can await anybody who dares to take David O. Russell’s odd movie significantly.



Morpheus in shades sits in his red chair

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