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Punch-Drunk Love (2002)

DVD Cover (Sony Home Entertainment Special Edition)
Genres:
Anarchic Comedy, Comedy Drama, Romance, Romantic Comedy
Director:
Paul Thomas Anderson Paul Thomas Anderson
Starring:
Adam Sandler Adam Sandler
Jason Andrews Jason Andrews
Don McManus Don McManus
Emily Watson Emily Watson
Luis Guzmán Luis Guzmán

7.2 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by bluemeanie
Added: April 09, 2007
This film was billed as 'Adam Sandler's first dramatic role'. Paul Thomas Anderson wrote the character with Sandler in mind, which is obvious throughout the entire film. The film revolves around a very normal guy with some anger problems who lives a very boring and mundane life...that is, until a harmonium lands at his feet and he meets a beautiful woman, played by Emily Watson. Then his life turns into an odd romantic journey that takes him everywhere, including a confrontation with a seedy Philip Seymour Hoffman.

Contrary to what the publicity for this film would have had you believe, this is not such a huge departure for Adam Sandler. He's doing a lot of the same old stuff he has always done. Like every other director who has worked with Sandler, P.T. Anderson is relying on Sandler's ability to turn the anger on at the drop of a hat, and he does so here. P.T. Anderson is also relying on Sandler's quiet charm, which is something else he has always used in films. Sandler is not a very assertive person and he can play quiet and slow quite nicely, most recently see in his performance in "Reign Over Me", a film I absolutely loved.

I have always been a huge fan of P.T. Anderson's work and "Magnolia" is one of my Top Ten films ever made, but there was just something a little pretentious about "Punch-Drunk Love". Anderson seemed as if he was trying to be artsy for the sake of being artsy, as if that was the only way to pull off a film like this starring Adam Sandler. I guess he thought people wouldn't take Sandler seriously if it didn't have 'arthouse' written all over it. But, the film is intentionally too slow and that does not work for many reasons. It is very boring in parts and doesn't really flow together like most of Anderson's films.

In a way, this film reminded me of "Love Liza", which starred Philip Seymour Hoffman as a man dealing with the suicide of his wife and his newfound love of model airplanes. "Punch-Drunk Love" is that film, minus the wife and swapping model airplanes for the harmonium. What I loved most about this film was the gentle sweetness with which the relationship was played between Sandler and Watson. Had the tempo been a little faster, I might have enjoyed it a bit more. Not a bad movie, but an unsuccessful attempt at an arthouse romantic comedy. 6.5/10.
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Tristan #1: Tristan - added 04/09/2007, 06:58 PM
Weird, I thought you would have liked this one. Especially after saying you liked Love Liza and PTA's work in general. I really loved this movie. For the music,for the story, for the acting, and for how visually brilliant it was. I know he went slightly over the top in that department, but regardless, I really connected with Sandler's character, and I can keep watching it again and again. 9/10
grain of sand #2: grain of sand - added 04/11/2007, 01:26 AM
this is my favorite adam sandler movie, that's not saying much.. but I loved this.
the outbursts are awesome.
Kari Byron's Sex Cyborg #3: Kari Byron's Sex Cyborg - added 04/19/2007, 08:37 AM
Ditto all The Fecal Kid said.
I love that scene in the warehouse when one of Barry's sisters introduces Lena to him and the music just hecticly builds up.
Actually, I love a bunch of scenes. Seriously though... I love every scene.
9.7/10
Shakes #4: Shakes - added 01/22/2009, 12:29 PM
What a great movie. A true work of cinematic art. I love the beginning with the psychedelic colors. Anyway, Sandler delivers a unique oddball character that is somehow comical and surprisingly believable. Philip Seymour Hoffman as the Mattress Man.. haha. i loved that. and Luis Guzman.. as Sandler's coworker. Hell yeah 9/10
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