Punch-Drunk LoveNovember 1, 2002
A beleaguered small-business owner gets a harmonium and embarks on a romantic journey with a mysterious woman.
Release Year: 2002
Rating: 7.4/10 (60,080 voted)
Critic's Score: 78/100
Paul Thomas Anderson
Stars: Adam Sandler, Emily Watson, Philip Seymour Hoffman
Barry Egan is a small business owner with seven sisters whose abuse has kept him alone and unable to fall in love. When a harmonium and a mysterious woman enter his life, his romantic journey begins.
Release Date: 1 November 2002
Filming Locations: Claremont, California, USA
Box Office Details
Opening Weekend: $367,203
(13 October 2002)
Did You Know?
Paul Thomas Anderson first announced that his follow-up to
Magnolia would be an Adam Sandler comedy at a press conference at the Cannes Film Festival. The news was greeted with laughter by the assembled press. When "Punch-Drunk Love" eventually played at Cannes, Anderson won the Best Director Palm d'Or.
Crew or equipment visible:
While Barry is running away from the brothers from Utah, a shadow of the cameraman is visible on the street.
Yes, I'm still on hold.
And what was this?
I'm looking at your advertisement for the airline promotion and giveaway.
Ah, the 10 for 1 mile plan…
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.
I think that's a typo then.h
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 would value 1000 miles?
Well, do you realize that the monetary value of this promotion and the prizes is potentially worth more than the purchases?
Wow, I never *felt* a movie before
One of my old English teachers once asked us about a book, "Did you all
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
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
sitting at his desk assaults you with a feeling of loneliness (not
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
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
happening on the street, there are no gruesome sights, no particular
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
hits something and explodes, its remains slide off into the distance and
see nothing more of it. It's trivial. But you feel like the movie is
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
About a third of the way through the video, my phone rang. I told my
what I was watching, and she asked how it was. I told her, "I can't
I'm not sure I like it." I kept watching. At the end, I understood. What
had meant to tell my friend was that I wasn't enjoying it. And I wasn't
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
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
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
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,
taking you WITH them to the discomfort the character is living? The
cinematography, the sound work, the script–none of it is any accident.
his life isn't going well, you FEEL it. Did I like the movie? Very much.
if you appreciate a very unusual take on an old topic, you will