01 October 2004

Smilers with the knives

From the opening line of Manohla Dargis' review of David O. Russell's new movie, opening today in New York and Los Angeles—"The high-wire comedy IHuckabees captures liberal-left despair with astonishingly good humor: it's Fahrenheit 9/11 for the screwball set"—I can't tell what she's means, but it sure sounds good. The rest of the review zings—she integrates rafts of references and sidelong notions with watch-this-Elvis aplomb: "IHuckabees is a comedy of dialectics, in which opposing dualities slug it out like wounded lovers, but it's nothing if not deeply sincere. Mr. Russell [is] clearly furious about the state of things (you name it) but, like Jon Stewart, [he] slide[s] in the knife with a smile."

Armond White's up on the big white blanket, too, in New York Press: "The central character['s] opening narration—Fuck! Shit!—shows Russell translating a young adult American's interior monologue into a version of Tourette's Syndrome. Everything [the character] does can be described as a fit."