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Punch-Drunk Love
Punch-Drunk Love
Actors: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Adam Sandler, Luis Guzmán, Emily Watson, Mary Lynn Rajskub
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama
R     2008     1hr 35min

Winner of the Best Director Prize at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival, "this misfit love story of disconnected people trying to find one another in an antagonistic world is a comedy of discomfort and rage that turns unexpecte...  more »

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Movie Details

Actors: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Adam Sandler, Luis Guzmán, Emily Watson, Mary Lynn Rajskub
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Adam Sandler, Love & Romance
Studio: Sony Pictures
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Dubbed,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 05/20/2008
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 1hr 35min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 1
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English, French
Subtitles: English, French
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Member Movie Reviews

S A A. (Learned2Heal)
Reviewed on 12/14/2008...
Written and Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will Be Blood, Magnolia, Boogie Nights), this movie is visually and psychologically very interesting. It has a fairly quirky but riveting plot, with Adam Sandler playing a character very different from his usual silly, vapid fare. Emily Watson is a surprise in her role as the main character's love interest, and handles it very well indeed.

The synopsis on this page does not do it justice but, in truth, it would be hard to measure up to that task. Although, I should add that the "violence" alluded to is hardly worth mentioning. It crops up very briefly here and there, just to give you a sense of the frustration and inner turmoil of the main character. In fact, through most of the movie he is a very easy-going, gentle and, ultimately, repressed soul.

Philip Seymour Hoffman has a few brief but welcome scenes as one of the main bad guys. As always, he is brilliant.

Many of this movie's scenes seem almost like dream sequences, even though they are not. It has some good chuckles and a few, unexpected, audio-visual shocks. Good ones that leave you gasping because they were so well crafted and so unexpected.

Overall. this is a "you gotta see it to see what I mean" kind of movie.

The nominations and awards given to this movie were all very well earned, IMO.

A very unusual movie that stays with you. In a good way. IMDB rates it 7.4/10. I give it a 3.8/5.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

Creepiest Romance Ever
John Bliss | Chicago, IL USA | 01/06/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The first half of Paul Thomas Anderson's new film, "Punch-Drunk Love," is one of the most unsettling experiences I've had in a movie theater in some time.Within the opening minutes, Barry Egan, the character played by Adam Sandler, witnesses a horrific accident, in which a car spins over and comes apart, has a taxivan screech to a halt while an unseen passenger drops a harmonium onto the street in front of him, and then, while he is rescuing said harmonium from the street, is almost killed by a speeding 18-wheeler. Is it any surprise that he dashes into the warehouse where he works and peers out at the world in terror?"Punch Drunk Love" has been described as a "strange romantic comedy," as "quirky" and "eccentric." In truth, the comedy is pitch-black and the romance is as dysfunctional as in any of Anderson's movie. It's a barely lightened version of the romance between John C. Reilly and Melora Walters in "Magnolia." We see how crippled Sandler's character is, but only get hints of the traumas suffered by Emily Watson, as his counterpart, the strongest of which is that she falls for him.Sandler's Egan is such an emotional cripple that he stumbles through the world as if he is mentally challenged. This is not standard issue "Little Nicky". This is "The Waterboy" as lensed by Hitchcock, and just as horrifying. Anderson builds the tension in Egan's day, so that when he finally has an outburst at his sister's birthday party, after a scene that is emotionally nerve-wracking, we are grateful for the release. That this release is followed by uncontrolled weeping, all of which is played completely straight, both deepens our understanding of Egan and reassures our trust in the director and his star.The movie is indeed funny at times, but for all its laughs, much of the time it plays as a horror film, in the tradition of "Eraserhead." Though far more realistic in treatment, Barry Egan is a direct descendant of Henry Spencer, stumbling through a world he can barely comprehend and paying the price for every transgression. Anderson plays on our fears about family and sex, and when Egan calls a 900 number, more for company than sex (he doesn't realize he should be masturbating), it turns into his worst nightmare. The movie ends on what should be a positive note, but it's so desperate that it's hard to feel good.Despite the reviews the movie is not an Art House film, any more than Clint Eastwood's "Unforgiven" is an Art House film. It is a genre picture that steps out of the genre, intelligent, creative and confident - in other words, something apart from standard Hollywood fare. Anderson uses music, light and sound much more to his advantage than many directors, creating an emotional context that helps support his story. His use of color and light is particularly effective, as when a pay phone suddenly glows when a call is connected, or when the lovers kiss in silhouette while a parade of strangers pass behind them.This is a Paul Thomas Anderson movie starring Adam Sandler, not an Adam Sandler movie directed by P.T. Anderson. As in many of his films, Sandler explodes in fits of violence. Unlike his other films, the violence doesn't seem choreographed. In one scene, he "beats up a bathroom," and it looks like we're watching outtakes: things don't break or they break too easily, there's no build, there's no catharsis. We don't feel better after Sandler's explosions, we feel unnerved. Sandler literally runs through much of the movie, but there's nothing freeing about it. There is one moment of simple joy, when Egan dances an impromptu soft-shoe in a supermarket. It's the only time he seems at all comfortable in his own skin. This movie is Adam Sandler's "Phantom of the Opera." He pulls off the mask and shows the horror beneath. And that makes him the most sympathetic he's ever been."
Everyone, no matter how damaged, deserves love.
Benjamin | ATLANTA, Gabon | 12/18/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"On Saturday, I saw one of the most obscure, bizarre, different and ultimately conventional and rewarding films, and I have to recommend it to all of you. It's the Adam Sandler-Paul Thomas Anderson movie, PUNCH-DRUNK LOVE.Usually, with Adam Sandler, I'm on the fence. I remember him from when he was on REMOTE CONTROL when I was 12. I remember him when he started on SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE, and I loved his skit there called THE DENISE SHOW, where a dumped, depressed guy uses a cable access program as an excuse to stalk his ex-girlfriend. P.T. Anderson, I noticed from interviews, remembered Sandler from THE DENISE SHOW, too, and made this movie with the complexities and sadness that character in mind.All the rage (not range) that Sandler showed in films like THE WEDDING SINGER, which at times was smart and good, or THE WATERBOY, which at times was dumb and good, is on display in PUNCH-DRUNK, but Sandler's character, Barry Egan, is more awkward than goofy. He's shy, damaged, browbeaten. In his words, he "doesn't like himself very much sometimes."In the role, Sandler's able to maintain his character's oddness, manic temper (complete with fits of violence) and essential goodness, generating sympathy and care even when he does things like call a phone-sex line or destroy a restaurant bathroom.As I've watched more Paul Thomas Anderson films in an attempt to better understand them (for MAGNOLIA frequently left me baffled and confused), I've come to appreciate some recurring elements: twists of fate that inject magic into everyday life, characters that exist only to forgive and love the damaged characters and random, off-the-wall dialogue and plot twists.PUNCH-DRUNK LOVE has these. Its hokiness, for it is a somewhat-formula romantic comedy, is redeemed by these elements. Lena Leonard, played by Emily Watson, is the character whose sole purpose in the film is to unconditionally love Barry Egan. The character isn't as clearly defined or quirky as Sandler's because she exists for a sole purpose, to save Egan from himself, to teach him how to hold relationships with others, to trust others, because she almost instinctively understands that he's been hurt a lot and hasn't really deserved it.The arrival of Leonard in Barry's life coincides with the arrival, as well, of a harmonium on his doorstep. The harmonium, one of those air-organ type instruments, shows up by complete chance, and its arrival, strangely, initially frightens Barry. Yet, as he comes to accept it and learns how to play it, everything else in Barry's life comes into order.I loved this movie so much that I wanted to give it a hug. It's not laugh-out-loud funny. It probably won't appeal to a lot of people. Some people may find it too off-the-wall. Others may just not get it.But I embrace any film that understands its themes clearly, knows what it's trying to say and says just that. I don't even mind a happy ending if a film earns it.Through accepting that goodness and magic does occur in the world and that the world isn't all hurt, Barry Egan is able to accept that there is goodness inside him and that he deserves love. I thought that was pretty great."
Magnificent Quirky Psychotic Vio-love!!
Derek Martin | Toronto, ON, Canada | 10/22/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This movie was, in two words, entirely unique. They're promoting it as a 'romantic comedy' -- because there's no category called 'psychotic affair with undertones of love and violent outbursts'. Much like Magnolia (the director's previous film), this is unlike any film you've ever seen. Adam Sandler does an excellent job of playing an unremarkable plunger salesman -- Barry Egan. There is nothing special about this guy. He has the odd phobia, and is a little paranoid and superstitious, but is generally an all-around nice guy... if a little temperamental. An average American.He is also painfully lonely; so much so, in fact, that one day he calls a 1-800 sex line just so he can talk to someone... The soundtrack & audio in the film are integral to the experience of it, which is completely unnerving.
It definitely arouses feelings in the audience -- mostly of unease, and awkwardness... and I laughed many times because of the absurdity of the situations -- all of which were completely intentional on the director's part (Paul Thomas Anderson). Amazing, unique film.
It is NOT what you're expecting... no matter what."