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Punch-Drunk Love (2002)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  1 November 2002 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 103,233 users   Metascore: 78/100
Reviews: 885 user | 248 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 13 wins & 28 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)
Julie Hermelin ...
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 without them probably even realizing it. 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 ... 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)


£322,921 (UK) (14 February 2003)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Anderson deliberately wanted to make a very different film after the rigors of making Magnolia (1999). He felt he had reached a dead end with his previous multi-character movies and he also wanted to subvert the critics' expectations of his films. Being a close friend of Adam Sandler, it seemed like a natural fit to make a project with him. See more »


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 »


[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 »


Referenced in American Dad!: Iced, Iced Babies (2006) See more »


Danny (Lonely Blue Boy)
Written by Ben Weisman and Fred Wise
Performed by Conway Twitty
Courtesy of Universal Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

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User Reviews

Intellectual Optimism
1 January 2004 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

Paul Thomas Anderson created a poetic masterpiece with 'Punch-Drunk Love'. This film portrays the story of a man who escapes his misery in a -newly found- self esteem and with love.

It was an absolute joy to see Adam Sander in a role of such depth and complexity. Philip Seymour Hoffman adds a little bit of his unlimited talent to the show in a role that defined the ending of the movie.

'Punch-Drunk Love' is the best movie the Coen brothers never made. It is smart and rewarding. The pleasant surprise of 2002.


75 of 116 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
what barry really needed... progjunky
I absolutely adore this film, are there any others like it? Pagoda_Littlejeans
Unwatchable jwarttman
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