Punch-Drunk Love


Love it or hate it, this is one movie you'll surely walk away from with a clear-cut opinion of. I have been looking forward to this film, ever since I first heard about it. I enjoyed Boogie Nights and Magnolia very much, so I was certain that director, Paul Thomas Anderson would deliver yet another great film. I also have to admit, that I am a small fan of Adam Sandler. Although The Water Boy was dumb, and Little Nicky was 100% crap, the rest of Sandler's work has been hilarious. I knew from the start that PDL was not going to be your typical Sandler movie, but the idea of a comedic actor taking on a serious role wasn't any reason for me to question whether or not the movie would be any good. Robin Williams has had success with normal, serious, and even dark characters that had little if any humor to them at all. As the movie began to make its rounds in film festivals and test-screenings, I heard very mixed reviews, from high acclaims to great disgust. I knew even more that I wanted to see this movie. The films that get those kinds of reviews are usually bound to make an impression on me. Like them or not, you remember them for a long time. How many movies have you seen that you just felt were "Eh, okay", only to wind up not being able to recall much of it when you get home? PDL manages to make a mark on you. If you've ever been in love, or felt the longing to be in love, you will see yourself in the character of Barry Egan (Sandler), a young, shy, and slightly neurotic man who grew up in the shadow of his 7 abusive sisters. As an adult, Barry lives a life of solitude and heartache. One can assume that, Barry has had little, if any at all, experience with women. When he meets Lena (played by Emily Watson), life begins to look better. Lena is able to reach Barry, and open him up, but not all is well. A moment of innocent weakness, comes back to haunt Barry, and threatens to put his newfound love in danger. It's difficult to really classify this film in one category. It has some funny moments as well as some dramatic ones. There's also a good deal of symbolism in the film, as P.T. Anderson used in Magnolia. I admit to not understanding a few things about the film, but I was able to relate to the story and to Barry's struggle with his emotions. Much like The Rules of Attraction this movie is a little dark, although not as much. Whatever your take is on the film, I am willing to bet you will have something to say, if asked about this movie. As for me, I loved it and give it a 4.
BTW, The Rules of Attraction was good too, dark, funny, depressing, mature, and unique. I'd put up a review for it as well, but it's been a few weeks, and it's no longer fresh in my mind. It gets a 3.9.

>>By Led Gopher   (Wednesday, 27 Aug 2003 06:40)

From what I remember I got annoyed in the first 1/4 of the movie because nothing was happening but it left me strangely satisfied at the end. It was very consistent/realistic. A friend said "it's a good movie for someone who watches a lot of movies" - presumably because it's not a predictable film.

>>By ftad   (Tuesday, 2 Sep 2003 10:18)

I forgot about this entry too. I am a bit disappointed to see no one else has talked about this movie since I first made this original comment under my old screen name. I was hoping to get a few questions about the movie answered. I am going to watch it this weekend and I will ask those questions I have afterwards.

>>By The Visco Kid   (Tuesday, 22 Apr 2008 19:06)

The discussion board is currently closed.