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Punch-Drunk Love (2002)

7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 92,262 users   Metascore: 78/100
Reviews: 867 user | 245 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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Title: Punch-Drunk Love (2002)

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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
Edit

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

The film has no opening titles. All titles and credits appear at the end. See more »

Goofs

When Barry calls Lena from the phone booth in Hawaii, a red light dot is reflected in the side of the phone booth. Some think this is from the camera, however, professional film cameras don't have such a light. It appears to be the traffic light from across the street. 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

Boom. Bang. Larrabee. 91 Hunjee. Hi there. Bye there. For TD. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Blossoms & Blood (2003) 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 »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

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.


196 of 244 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
His bloody knuckles spell LOVE sertichman
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