Nov 9, 2020
On the podcast this week, Steven and Sean have hired some existential detectives to help solve the mysteries that are plaguing them in the David O. Russell film from 2004, I Heart Huckabees.
Did you know that Shania Twain hates mayo? Like, totally hates it. Can’t eat a single bit of it. She can’t have a chicken salad at all. Be prepared to move out of the way if you ever give her any because she’s going to be throwing up all over you the next moment. We give her tuna fish sandwiches instead, but she’s not buying it. So we tell her we’re allergic to mayo (a total lie, by the way) and eat a couple of them to make her feel better. She eats one and a half of them—one and a half!—before realizing… they’re chicken salad.
Mayo aside, we’re talking about a movie that’s got some real depth and layers to it. Albert Markovski goes to see a husband and wife team of existential detectives because he’s been having some peculiar coincidences that he just can’t figure out. They’re driving him a little batty! Not to mention he’s having difficulties at work because some punk named Brad Stand is basically trying to take over his environmental non-profit. He gets teamed up with a disaffected fireman to help him figure out the cause of his troubles. There’s a… well, there’s a lot of heady stuff that goes on with this film. How can someone condense it all into this meager space in the show notes of a podcast episode?
Instead, I want to tell you this story about Shania Twain and chicken salad sandwiches. Did you know she hates them? She can’t eat mayo. No mayo!
This is an interesting film in David O. Russell’s oeuvre. It’s the last film he made that could be considered a straight-up comedy (so far), and yet it’s a peculiar one. It’s unique and eccentric. Then he went off and did heavy as hell things like The Fighter and American Hustle.
It’s a fun one, though. It flew way under the radar when it came out, so it’s been overlooked by many. It evolves into a story with real emotion and consequences as its running time progresses. By the end of it, you’ll probably find yourself asking what exactly does everything mean?
Oh, and did we ever tell you about the Shania Twain-mayo story?
(Recorded on September 21, 2020)
Links to Stuff We Mentioned: