A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Characters learn to overcome nihilism and meaningless to find the interconnectedness in all things.
Positive Role Models
The characters in this quirky existentialist satire on the human condition and suburban sprawl don't emerge as being especially strong role models.
Violence & Scariness
Mild comic peril and some shoving. Two characters repeatedly hit each other in the face with a dodgeball. One character sets another's house on fire, almost leading to the death of one of the female lead characters.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Two characters are shown having sex in a marsh. They are clothed but are in a sexual position. In a brief dream image, one of the male characters is shown with long blonde hair and female breasts, as one of the other male characters sucks on one of the breasts until milk comes out. A woman is in a bikini posing in a sexual manner as she promotes Huckabees. The frequency of sexual intercourse is discussed, as is masturbation.
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Frequent profanity throughout the film: "f--k," "motherf---ker," "c--ksucker," "s--t," "bulls--t," "d--k," "p--sy," and "a--hole." In the first scene, the lead character's first words are a torrent of curse words, and he repeats this torrent later in the film.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters are shown drinking in a restaurant, but do not act intoxicated.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this movie has extremely strong language ("f--k," "motherf---ker," "c--ksucker," "s--t," "bulls--t," "d--k," "p--sy," "a--hole"), and some sexual references (frequency of sexual intercourse is discussed, as is masturbation) and one brief explicit sexual situation (one of the male characters is shown with long blonde hair and female breasts, as one of the other male characters sucks on one of the breasts until milk comes out). Characters drink and smoke. The movie includes mild comic peril and some tense confrontations. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
There aren't many comedies about existentialism, and the brilliance of this movie is how it uses the form of the screwball comedy both to represent and explore existential themes. The movie has a sure sense of comic structure and timing, with classic comedy conventions such as high-speed dialogue, wild plot permutations, family craziness, over-reaction to trivial things, under-reaction to non-trivial things, some sharp satire about our consumer culture, a little slapstick, some terrible poetry, and of course a few romantic complications. I Heart Huckabees is clearly the product of someone who has waded through Teutonic philosophy and eastern mysticism and fortunately came out the other side with a sense of humor intact.
Director and co-screenwriter David O. Russell has a lot of fun playing with the classic philosophical dualities/debates. The difference between philosophy and art is that philosophy tries to deal with dichotomies in a logical and linear way, whereas art is free to ricochet back and forth between them like a pinball machine. Russell directs his crackerjack cast at top speed, and they all perform with buoyant conviction and pure comic energy that is delicious to watch. This is Law's best performance so far, stunning in its fearlessness and control of tone. He keeps Brad a character and not a caricature when he's at his most charming and when he begins to unravel.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.