7.3/10
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Punch-Drunk Love (2002)

A psychologically troubled novelty supplier is nudged towards a romance with an English woman, all the while being extorted by a phone-sex line run by a crooked mattress salesman, and purchasing stunning amounts of pudding.
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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 14 wins & 35 nominations. See more awards »

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A collection of alternate takes and deleted material from the Paul Thomas Anderson film Punch-Drunk Love (2002) are compiled and matched with the Jon Brion song "Here We Go" in this ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Jason Andrews ...
Operator Carter (voice)
...
Plastic (voice)
...
...
David Schrempf ...
Customer #1
Seann Conway ...
Customer #2
...
Rico
Hazel Mailloux ...
Rhonda
Karen Kilgariff ...
Anna (voice)
...
Kathleen
Salvador Curiel ...
Sal
Jorge Barahona ...
Jorge
Ernesto Quintero ...
Ernesto
Julius Steuer ...
Mechanic
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Storyline

Barry Egan hates himself and hates his life. The only male among eight siblings, Barry is treated poorly by his overbearing sisters. Despite owning his own business, he has gotten nowhere in life largely because of his insecurities. He leads a solitary life, which allows him to hide his violent outbursts that occur when he's frustrated. His solitude however allows him to think, he stumbling upon a scheme to travel the world on a pittance, travel which he has never done. Concurrently, he meets two people who pull him in two different directions. The first is Lena Leonard, a friend of his sister Elizabeth. Barry is slow to realize that Lena is attracted to him, he making her make all the first moves. Lena is eventually able to get Barry out of his shell, she who sticks around despite his obvious problems. His burgeoning relationship and thus new life with Lena is threatened by the second, "Georgia", who he contacted in an effort to alleviate his loneliness. Georgia and her "band of ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong language including a scene of sexual dialogue | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 November 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Just Desserts  »

Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$367,203 (USA) (11 October 2002)

Gross:

$17,791,031 (USA) (13 December 2002)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During promotional interview for Magnolia (1999), a British journalist asked director Paul Thomas Anderson which actors he would like to work with in future. Anderson replied that he would like to work with Adam Sandler and Daniel Day-Lewis. The journalist believed Anderson was joking, because the two actors are from such different backgrounds and have very different acting styles. However, Anderson's next two films did indeed feature these two actors in the lead roles (this film starring Sandler, and There Will Be Blood (2007) starring Day-Lewis). See more »

Goofs

When Barry is watching Lena walk away after she drops off her car, he is holding his coffee thermos "backwards" (the handle is pointing away from his palm). After the cut when we see him duck inside the garage, he is holding the thermos by the handle. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Barry: Yes, I'm still on hold.
Phone Rep: And what was this?
Barry: I'm looking at your advertisement for the airline promotion and giveaway.
Phone Rep: Ah, the 10 for 1 mile plan...
Barry: Yeah, it's hard to understand, because it says "in addition to". But I can't exactly understand in addition to what? Because there's actually nothing to add to.
Phone Rep: I think that's a typo then.h
Barry: Okay, so just to clarify - I'm sorry - 10 purchases of any of your healthy choice products equals 500 miles, and with the coupon, the same purchase ...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

Egan's seven sisters are credited collectively as "The Sisters." The four brothers who pursue and assault him are credited collectively as "The Brothers." See more »

Connections

Referenced in Jessie: Punched Dumped Love (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

He Needs Me
Written by Harry Nilsson
Performed by Shelley Duvall
Produced by Bruce Robb & Harry Nilsson
Recorded, Engineered & Mixed by Bruce Robb at Cherokee Studios
Courtesy of Paramount Pictures and Walt Disney Pictures
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Biggest surprise of the year - an Adam Sandler art film
6 October 2002 | by (Brooklyn, New York) – See all my reviews

I caught this at the New York film festival and my expectations were about as low as they could be. I was never a huge Adam Sandler fan, and I hadn't ever taken a liking to PT Anderson's other films. I thought that Magnolia was pretty flimsy writing-wise, and I also thought that it got way too much undue attention when it came out.

I couldn't believe how great Punch Drunk Love was. It seems to be the polar opposite of Magnolia. Where Magnolia was sprawling, messy and often generic, Punch Drunk Love is short, tight and completely fresh. It reminded me of Fargo, in a way. It centers on a very small cadre of characters, it's incredibly focused, and it creates its own world for those characters to live and move around in.

It's been mentioned here before, but the art direction is stunning. I haven't seen such memorable visuals since The Royal Tenenbaums. In a grocery store scene, the items are stacked vertically by color (echoing the color bars that appear periodically between scenes), making the scene appear otherworldly. Other sets are bare of color or distinction. Sandler's love interest in the film (played by Emily Watson) lives in a maze of white corridors. Somehow, every "place" in the film has its own character and association. Even the characters become associated with particular colors.

The movie ends up being genuinely romantic while deviating completely from the very stale paradigm for romantic comedies of the last decade: Watson's character pursues Barry Egan; their inability to hit it off from the start is more character-driven and psychological than situational. Through the use of bizarre props and surreal scenes, the anxiety and frustration of Barry Egan becomes totally absorbing and affecting.

This is a wonderfully directed film. There isn't an extraneous moment. The visual style and pacing are particularly great. There's an interesting subtext in the film about communication - enormous background noise while characters are on the phone, Barry Egan's sisters' voices create this wall of noise (all voices making fun of him), telephones figure predominantly, the opening scene is completely bereft of background noise or music. There are a lot of interesting things to consider when it comes to the theme of communication and how sound is handled in the film.

That said, I'm already cringing at how most people are going to react to this. The Adam Sandler fans might find it too weird. People who liked PT Anderson's other movies might find it too pretensious. I was thrilled to have my low expectations completely overturned. This movie is great.


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