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Punching the Clown (2009)

 -  Comedy  -  22 October 2010 (USA)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 608 users   Metascore: 62/100
Reviews: 11 user | 20 critic | 7 from Metacritic.com

Winner of the Audience Award at the Slamdance Film Festival, this uproarious and smart new comedy tells the story of Henry Phillips, a hapless modern day troubadour who grinds his way ... See full summary »

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Title: Punching the Clown (2009)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Henry Phillips ...
Ellen Ratner ...
Wade Kelley ...
Matthew Walker ...
Matt Phillips (as Matt Walker)
Audrey Siegel ...
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Eddie Pepitone ...
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Storyline

Winner of the Audience Award at the Slamdance Film Festival, this uproarious and smart new comedy tells the story of Henry Phillips, a hapless modern day troubadour who grinds his way through the heartland, living out of his car and singing his twisted satirical songs to anyone who will listen. After a booking mishap involving a Christian fundraiser, he decides he's hit rock bottom. Seeking to shake things up, he moves to L.A. where his luck changes overnight. Thanks less to his inept manager than to a wild case of mistaken identity, he falls backwards into a string of packed gigs, a record deal and even the promise of love. But he who lives by the whimsy of show business dies by it, and reality hits him like a fist in the face: an innocent miscommunication over a bagel brands him a neo-Nazi in the world of tabloid journalism. Luckily, somewhere between rock bottom and nowhere lies the perfect terrain for his dark and hilarious songs. Hailed by comedy icon Sarah Silverman as "the best... Written by Henry Phillips and Gregori Viens

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

What he takes from his life, he gives back through his art. So far he's taken nothing but shit. See more »

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Comedy

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Details

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Release Date:

22 October 2010 (USA)  »

Box Office

Budget:

$140,000 (estimated)
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1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Henry: Michelagelo apparently once said, um, that if people knew how hard he worked, they wouldn't call him a genius and I think with me, it's sort of the opposite, you know. I think that if people knew how little I worked on this stuff, I don't think they would say that I suck.
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User Reviews

 
Felt great to laugh at something clever for a change.
4 November 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I didn't realize how ready I was for something fresh until I laughed and smiled for 90 minutes watching this amazing low-budget comedy.

I went to see the movie in New York after getting a tweet from Sarah Silverman saying she loved it and that everyone should go see it. I saw that she actually called it "the funniest movie about comedy I've seen so far." My expectations were really high after that endorsement, but I quickly understood what she meant: it's better, or at least funnier, than any film I've seen on the subject of comedy, stand-up, the music business or even Hollywood image making. I was simply blown away. Not so much by the cinematography or the general look of it (which is fine, that's not the point of the movie), but by the amazingly witty situations and the funny dialog which is razor sharp, yet, at the same time, very laid-back and realistic. The plot is very original in the genre, even if the story is kind of a classic. Classic in a good sense. In fact, part of it seems completely real, but not in a mockumentary way. In a very good way.

And I'm forgetting to state the obvious: Henry Phillips is hilarious. His songs are beautiful and funny as hell. The film is so well balanced and intelligently structured that by the end of it I felt like I'd just witnessed something unique: a comical tragedy about a tragically comic man. I wanted more. I bought Phillips's last two CDs. He's no fluke. His music is as brilliant as the movie.


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