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Punch-Drunk Love (2002)

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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.
1,965 ( 736)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 14 wins & 34 nominations. See more awards »



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


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:





Release Date:

1 November 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Just Desserts  »

Box Office


$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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


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

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Paul Thomas Anderson refers to this film as "an arthouse Adam Sandler film". See more »


After the brothers smash into Barry's car and it stops spinning, blood trickles from Lena's scalp and onto her cheek. When Barry returns to the car after beating up the brothers, there is no blood on Lena's face. See more »


[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

The end credits are presented over the colorful artwork that appears throughout the movie. See more »


References The Night of the Hunter (1955) See more »


Written by Andy Cummings
Performed by Ladies K
See more »

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User Reviews

The stuff dreams are made of.
29 January 2003 | by See all my reviews

I saw Punch Drunk Love at the Gothenburg film festival today and I was totally overwhelmed by it. I had really looked forward to it since I love Paul Thomas Anderson's earlier films. Magnolia is still among my top five favourite movies ever and my expectations were therefore almost too high. I must admit I was sceptical of Adam Sandler playing a serious part. But he makes fantastic interpretation of his character Barry Egan, a small business owner pushed around by his seven (!) sisters who's miserable life takes a turn when he meets love in Emily Watson's character. Watson makes a beautiful portrait of the mysterious and lonely Lena who falls in love with Barry.

The movie isn't just well acted, it's also magnificent to watch. The camerawork is exquisite and Anderson really shows of his visual talent. Every frame in the one and a half hour film could be frozen and displayed as a piece of art. But the most impressive thing in the film is still Adam Sandler. Every word, expression and nuance is perfect and genuine. If this doesn't deserve an Oscar nomination I don't now what will. His performance is superior to the last five winners.

Punch Drunk Love is the way a movie should be. It's the way you wish all movies were like and I wish I could hang it on my wall. The poster will have to do.

106 of 145 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Why do you think Lena fell for Barry? mgrad784
Adam Sandler's Best Movie marcheurfr
I don't think I'll ever be able to watch another Adam Sandler movie. CarolineYes
I absolutely adore this film, are there any others like it? Pagoda_Littlejeans
what barry really needed... progjunky
Unwatchable jwarttman
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