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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.
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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?


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 »


When Lena calls Barry as he is leaving her apartment, a sign is seen that is read as "WARNING: This community may be monitored by a surveilance camera," the word "surveillance" being misspelled. 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

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


References Playtime (1967) See more »


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

A New Side of Sandler
4 July 2005 | by (Massachusetts) – See all my reviews

Adam Sandler is known for his wacky, flaky, and sometimes over the top style of comedy. With films like Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore, and Big Daddy under his belt, one would think that he would stick with what he's got. Sandler has shown us a new side of him with his performance in Paul Thomas Anderson's Punch Drunk Love.

Sandler plays Barry Egan, an ambitious man who owns and operates his own business. He sells his own plungers. One day after finishing a phone call with a food company, he walks outside to find a tiny piano someone dropped on the side of the road. He runs after it and puts it in his office. Then shortly after he meets Lena Leonard (Emily Watson) who needs help with her car. Being the nice guy he is, he complies.

Barry Egan is a great guy. He is nice and is trying his best to do well. With seven sisters, he faces the brunt of their vicious wrath that they unintentionally place upon him. With embarrassing stories of growing up and how they teased him, Barry has a little built up anger that he uses here and there, like his sister's sliding glass door. Barry means well, but man can he do damage.

When lonely one night, Barry calls a sex line for just someone to talk to. What he ends up getting himself into is a huge scandal with the operator of the sex line due to the fact that he gave his credit card number to them and everything they need to know to get money from him. On top of this, Barry has found a way to cheat the food company he talks to in the beginning. The deal is getting free frequent-flyer miles due to a deal the company has on all of their items...including individual pudding cups. Barry pounces on the opportunity by buying as many 25 cent cups as he can so he can fly anywhere for free.

With an interesting plot and a great performance by both Sandler and Watson, this film is bound to make an impact. Sandler's more dramatic side shows, giving us a glimpse at the real actor behind all of the goofy nonsense we have come to love over the years. It was really refreshing to see a comedian do a really good job acting in a serious role. It reminded me of Jim Carey is The Truman Show. Serious, yet still able to crack a joke, much like Sandler in this film.

Anderson is no newcomer when it comes to movies. He has written and directed a couple of gems. Boogie Nights and Magnolia are two he both wrote and directed and came out great. This movie is no different. It's unique style with interesting choices for music give the picture an edge.

If Sandler keeps landing roles like this, he could potentially put himself in position for an Oscar nomination, much like Bill Murray did with Lost in Translation. That's not to say he shouldn't make his regular comedies, but a nice blend would be great. Punch Drunk Love is a knockout!

67 of 106 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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