Before you ask, Huckabees is not a herd of Australian marsupials, but rather the name of a chain of fictional stores in David O. Russell’s new ensemble comedy starring Jason Schwartzman, Dustin Hoffman, Isabelle Huppert, Lily Tomlin and Jude Law. The film follows Albert Markovski (Schwartzman), a tree-hugging conservationist who hires the "existential detectives" Bernard and Vivian Jaffe (Hoffman and Tomlin) to spy on him following a series of coincidences that cause him to question the meaning of life.

Gore Vidal once wrote, "Every time my friends succeed, I die a little," and the Huckabees storyline explores the meaning behind that sentiment. Bernie and Viv soon discover that Al has more than a few interpersonal issues, the most prominent being his relationship with Brad Stand (Law), a corporate ladder-climbing yuppie who taunts the protagonist at every turn.

Is Hoffman the man or what? Who else could get away with explaining the whole philosophical circle of light thing as he sweeps dirt off his desk while sporting a wig that looks like something out of Rod Stewart’s dressing room? Tomlin, in boob-hugging business suits, is also a hoot – as is the petroleum obsessive Mark Wahlberg (and his fire boots), who delivers comedic pimp slaps as he reveals why "Jesus is mad at you." Even Naomi Watts has a couple of "brownie-toothed" moments that work, in that pretty-girl-wears-a-dowdy-bonnet-for-chuckles kind of way.

As weak spots go, the one that sticks out most in Huckabees is the Sudanese orphan subplot. What’s the deal with the cinematic juxtaposition of Africans in lily-white suburban family settings these days? That gag is so Long Duk Dong in John Hughes’s Sixteen Candles, but nevertheless forgivable.

Overall, though, Huckabees is a dialogue-heavy joint that is quite funny. And only Russell could string Kafka themes and Shania Twain together in the same string of jokes and pull it off.

At the forefront, Schwartzman and Law both kick ass in their respective roles, which says a lot about their talent quotient when you consider the vets they’re performing with. Schwartzman’s cornering the market on greasy nerd heroes and Law’s found a way to put that robotic eyeball thing from AI to better use.

Grade: A-