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Punch-Drunk Love (2002)

7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 87,764 users   Metascore: 78/100
Reviews: 859 user | 242 critic | 37 from Metacritic.com

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 16 wins & 24 nominations. See more awards »

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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)
Julie Hermelin ...
Kathleen
Salvador Curiel ...
Sal
Jorge Barahona ...
Jorge
Ernesto Quintero ...
Ernesto
Julius Steuer ...
Mechanic
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Storyline

Barry Egan runs his own company, is continually hounded by his seven sisters, and every now and then gets a tiny bit violent. One odd morning a harmonium first appears in the street then a striking young lady asks for his help with her car. She re-appears a few days later and there seems to be a spark between them, but can they possibly cut through his seemingly over-complicated life and his somewhat unusual interpersonal skills? Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

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:

£151,494 (UK) (7 February 2003)

Gross:

£322,921 (UK) (14 February 2003)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A subplot of the film was inspired by an article in 'Time' magazine about David Phillips, a University of California civil engineer who stumbled upon a lucrative frequent-flyer promotion. By purchasing 12,150 cups of Healthy Choice pudding for just $3,000, he accumulated 1.25 million air-miles. See more »

Goofs

When Barry is looking at the piano after he brought it into the office; Lance arrives and he runs to greet him. When Lance and Barry go back to office; all the lights are on, in what had been a dark office. 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 The Woman Who Came to Dinner (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Waikiki
Written by Andy Cummings
Performed by Ladies K
See more »

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User Reviews

 
PTA unlocks Sandler with a brilliant film
11 April 2003 | by (Austin, Texas) – See all my reviews

We've come to expect a lot from Paul Thomas Anderson. After his twin masterpieces "Boogie Nights" and "Magnolia", not to mention the sure-handed and satisfying "Hard Eight", we knew he was a filmmaker of skill and magic. So when it was announced that the next PTA film would be a 90-minute romantic comedy starring (Gasp!) Adam Sandler, I was, for one, not worried. This man had taken Mark Wahlberg and turned him into someone we could be proud to watch onscreen. He cast icon Tom Cruise, gave him the character of Frank "T.J." Mackey, and directed the actor to one of the most repulsive, offensive, and inspired performances of the "Top Gun" star's career. So, I was pretty confident in his ability to handle the star of "Little Nicky". But, boy, I still wasn't prepared for what I saw. Sandler just wasn't good, he was INCREDIBLE. I couldn't believe my eyes-here was the man behind "Eight Crazy Nights" creating a completely realized, utterly human character with a studied, nuanced performance. Many have commented on the fact that Barry Egan, Sandler's character, is not that different from his previous incarnations. Socially akward and prone to explosive violence, Barry might just be the key to explainging Sandler's Billy Madison or Happy Gilmore. The character helps shine a light on the inner torment of those man-children.

The plot is a bit more complicated than your usual romantic-comedy fair. First off, it's really not a comedy. Second off, the two major players-Sandler and Emily Watson as the beautiful and mysterious Lena Leonard-both have quirks and tension that ordinary movie characters who fall in love don't in movies today. Barry has been terribly scarred (perhaps irreperably) by the constant torment and abuse of his seven sisters. There are several scenes where he bursts into destructive rages for no real reason-to sum it up, this guy has problems. Lena seems to have some of the same hurt simmering under her, but she controls it and accepts Barry for who he is, eventually coming to a stage where she understands him better than anyone truly ever has. Much of "Punch-Drunk Love"'s story is how Egan manages to regain control of himself and experience truly human feelings for the first time. Lena is his salvation-through his devotion to her he saves himself.

The film's other specifics are a bizarre, but extremely original mix of details. Barry is a toilet-plunger salesman. He one day wanders onto a loophole in a snack-foods sponsored contest that would allow him to get enough frequent flier miles to never have to pay for a plane ticket again. First, however, is the nasty business with a small-time porn entrepeneur in Utah who is trying to extort a large sum of money from Barry, using the company's "Four Blonde Brothers" to threaten the (for a time) hapless Egan. The film is so utterly free that to reveal how these disparate elements come together would ruin the movie. Much of the joy of "Punch-Drunk Love" is that you never truly know where the movie is going to go next.

The performances are uniformly excellent. Philip Seymour Hoffman is "the heavy", but he puts a small line of tragedy in his character. Dean Trumbell seems fierce, but a telling look at his "empire" reveals he is all bark and no bite. The always-great Luis Guzman is Sandler's well-wishing co-worker, Lance, who is constantly supportive of Barry despite his doubts about what is really going on inside his boss's head. And Emily Watson is appropriately fascinating and quietly alluring as Lena, who drops her car off one day and admits the next she did it just to meet Barry.

The film might seem weird and violent, but this is truly one of the sweetest movies I have seen at a long time. At its core, "PDL" is decent, honest, and beautiful. It is reminiscent of "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas", which, despite its rampant drug use and other disturbing subject matter, was a film that had a heart of gold. One of the best of 2002, "Punch-Drunk Love" will be seen in the future as a shining moment for all involved. Here's to hoping it will also be seen as the beginning of Adam Sandler's serious film career.


136 of 164 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Why do you think Lena fell for Barry? mgrad784
what barry really needed... progjunky
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
Unwatchable jwarttman
Would have made a great short film Dashbarddc
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