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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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3,120 ( 109)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 14 wins & 35 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Adam Sandler ... Barry Egan
Jason Andrews Jason Andrews ... Operator Carter (voice)
Don McManus ... Plastic (voice)
Emily Watson ... Lena Leonard
Luis Guzmán ... Lance
David Schrempf David Schrempf ... Customer #1
Seann Conway Seann Conway ... Customer #2
Rico Bueno ... Rico
Hazel Mailloux Hazel Mailloux ... Rhonda
Karen Kilgariff Karen Kilgariff ... Anna (voice)
Julie Hermelin ... Kathleen
Salvador Curiel Salvador Curiel ... Sal
Jorge Barahona Jorge Barahona ... Jorge
Ernesto Quintero Ernesto Quintero ... Ernesto
Julius Steuer Julius Steuer ... Mechanic
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Storyline

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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 November 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Just Desserts See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$367,203, 13 October 2002, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$17,844,216

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$24,665,649
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital EX | SDDS | DTS-ES

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

An internet fan theory posits that the film contains numerous references to Superman. For instance, Barry is always wearing a blue suit. By collecting the free air miles, he can now fly anywhere he wants (and in fact in one scene he actually attempts to physically fly, jumping from the balcony and landing in the street). Finally, when Lena holds Barry, her red dress resembles a cape. 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

The end credits are presented over the colorful artwork that appears throughout the movie. See more »


Soundtracks

Moana Chimes
Written by Johnny Noble and M.K. Moke
See more »

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User Reviews

Wow, I never *felt* a movie before
10 November 2003 | by SFMovieFanSee all my reviews

One of my old English teachers once asked us about a book, "Did you all like the book? I'm not asking whether you enjoyed it; I don't care. I want to know if you liked it." She was making an important distinction.

I remembered that as I watched Punch-Drunk Love. It's very unusual. The film is set in L.A., but you don't see much scenery indicating that. You see unpleasant things. Adam Sandler's office is long and empty: just seeing him sitting at his desk assaults you with a feeling of loneliness (not because of any sappy music--but because of the set and the camera work). He walks out into a never-ending warehouse; it feels empty, brutal. He exits the warehouse and you see another unending sight: the row of garage-like doors of all the other warehouses. It feels like it lasts forever, this row of doors, and when Adam gets to the end of it, he looks out onto a long, straight, industrial, empty street. It looks HORRIBLE, but why? Nothing is happening on the street, there are no gruesome sights, no particular signs of squalor or anything, and yet you feel repulsed, hopeless, alone. Then, out of the distance, a car whizzes by, nothing unusual, but it feels abrasive. With no relation at all to the plot, just as it appears, this car hits something and explodes, its remains slide off into the distance and you see nothing more of it. It's trivial. But you feel like the movie is being hostile toward YOU, the viewer.

Yes, that's the best way I can put it: you feel like the movie is being hostile toward YOU. A few minutes later, a truck flies by, again very abrasively, and drops a harmonium in front of Adam Sandler. There is no rhyme or reason to this, it just happens, and it's all very unpleasant.

About a third of the way through the video, my phone rang. I told my friend what I was watching, and she asked how it was. I told her, "I can't decide. I'm not sure I like it." I kept watching. At the end, I understood. What I had meant to tell my friend was that I wasn't enjoying it. And I wasn't meant to.

The film starts out with a very bad point in Adam Sandler's life. He is neurotic, you want to kill his sisters even though they're not malicious per se, he is lonely, his life is unpleasant. This movie is trying to do more than TELL you it's unpleasant, and even more than SHOW you it's unpleasant: the movie is trying to get inside you and make you FEEL it. You seriously feel the abrasiveness of every image, every sound, every character; you feel accosted by it. When there's silence, it's brutal silence. When there are sounds, they're brutal sounds. Images and movements are abrasive. Until Adam's life begins to flourish: then you get pretty sounds, pretty colors--as the viewer, you're let off the hook, too.

So when it was over, I was in amazement. How many movies succeed at this, at taking you WITH them to the discomfort the character is living? The cinematography, the sound work, the script--none of it is any accident. When his life isn't going well, you FEEL it. Did I like the movie? Very much. And if you appreciate a very unusual take on an old topic, you will too.


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