Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Paul Thomas Anderson|
|Produced by||Paul Thomas Anderson
|Written by||Paul Thomas Anderson|
|Music by||Jon Brion|
|Editing by||Leslie Jones|
New Line Cinema
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures (US)
New Line Cinema (International)
|Running time||95 minutes|
After the release of his previous film Magnolia (which ran over three hours long), Anderson stated that he would like to work with Adam Sandler in the future and that he was determined to make his next film 90 minutes long.
The film won rave reviews for Adam Sandler in his first major departure from the broader comedies that had made him a star. Roger Ebert wrote in the Chicago Sun-Times that "Sandler, liberated from the constraints of formula, reveals unexpected depths as an actor. Watching this film, you can imagine him in Dennis Hopper roles. He has darkness, obsession and power." He won Best Actor at the Gijón International Film Festival and was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy, and was, at one point, a contender for the Academy Award for Best Actor, but he was not nominated.
Barry Egan (Adam Sandler) is a single man who owns a company that markets themed toilet plungers and other novelty items. He has seven overbearing sisters who ridicule and emotionally abuse him regularly and leads a very lonely life punctuated by fits of rage and anguish. In the span of one morning, he witnesses a bizarre car accident, picks up an abandoned harmonium from the street, and encounters Lena Leonard (Emily Watson), a co-worker of his sister, Lena having orchestrated this meeting after seeing him in a family picture belonging to his sister Elizabeth (Mary Lynn Rajskub).
Coping with his loneliness, Barry calls a phone sex hotline, but the female operator attempts to extort money and sends her four henchmen, who are brothers, to collect. This complicates his budding relationship with Lena, as well as his plan to exploit a loophole in a Healthy Choice promotion and amass a million frequent flyer miles by buying large quantities of pudding (based on the true story of David Phillips). After Lena leaves for Hawaii on a business trip, Barry decides to follow her. He arrives and calls one of his manipulative sisters to learn where Lena is staying. When his sister tries manipulating him again, Barry snaps and demands she give him the information, which she does. Lena is unexpectedly overjoyed to see Barry, and they have a pillow talk scene. At first, Barry explains that he is in Hawaii on a business trip by coincidence, but he soon admits that he came to pursue a romantic relationship. The romance further develops, and Barry finally feels some relief from the emotional isolation he has endured.
After they return home, the four brothers ram their car into Barry's, leaving Lena mildly injured. With his newly found freedom from loneliness in jeopardy, a surprisingly aggressive and poised Barry adeptly fights off all four the goons in a matter of seconds. Suspecting that Lena will leave him if she finds out about the phone sex hotline fiasco, Barry leaves Lena at the hospital and tries to end the harassment by calling back the phone-sex line and speaking to the "supervisor", who turns out to be Dean Trumbell (Philip Seymour Hoffman), who is also an owner of a mattress store. Barry travels to the mattress store in Provo, Utah, to confront Dean face to face. Dean, at first trying to intimidate Barry, finds Barry much more intimidating and Barry compels Dean to leave him alone.
Barry decides to tell Lena about his phone-sex fiasco and begs her for forgiveness, pledging his loyalty and to use his frequent-flier miles to accompany her on all future business trips. She readily agrees, and they embrace happily. Lena approaches Barry in his office while he plays the harmonium. She puts her arms around him and says, "So, here we go."
- Adam Sandler as Barry Egan
- Emily Watson as Lena Leonard
- Philip Seymour Hoffman as Dean Trumbell
- Mary Lynn Rajskub as Elizabeth
- Luis Guzmán as Lance
- Robert Smigel as Walter the Dentist
Awards and nominations
|Chlotrudis Award||Best Actor||Adam Sandler||Won|
|Gijón International Film Festival Award||Best Actor||Won|
|Golden Globe Award||Best Actor - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy||Nominated|
|MTV Movie Award||Best Kiss||Nominated|
|Toronto Film Critics Association Award||Best Supporting Actress||Won|
|Vancouver Film Critics Circle Award||Best Supporting Actress||Nominated|
Score and soundtrack
The score to Punch-Drunk Love was composed by Jon Brion. As with the previous film Magnolia, Brion and director Paul Thomas Anderson collaborated heavily for the production of the film's score. However, rather than scoring the film after rough footage had been shot, Brion created compositions during the filming of Punch-Drunk Love. During the scoring process, Brion would experiment with tones and sounds, carefully making note of what Anderson would respond to. Anderson himself would create the vocal tempos he would envision in the score and use them on set, even to the extent of inspiring the pace of Adam Sandler's performance.
The film's score features heavy use of the harmonium, an instrument that Anderson knew he wanted in the film before he had even completed the script. Brion introduced Anderson to this instrument and many scenes between Adam Sandler's character and the instrument were inspired by Brion. For instance, Brion once found a harmonium with a hole in its bellows before going on tour with Aimee Mann. To fix the problem, he covered the hole with duct tape. The situation is mirrored in the film.
- Patterson, John (March 10, 2000). "Magnolia Maniac". London: The Guardian. Retrieved April 12, 2010.
- Ebert, Roger (October 18, 2002). "Punch-Drunk Love". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved February 5, 2011.
- "Festival de Cannes: Punch-Drunk Love". Cannes Film Festival. Retrieved October 25, 2009.
- "Punch-Drunk Love (2002)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved December 3, 2009.
- Murray, Noel; Phipps, Keith; Rabin, Nathan; Robinson, Tasha; Tobias, Scott. "The best films of the 00's". The A.V. Club. Retrieved January 17, 2010.
- Goodsell, Luke (June 15, 2010). "Five Favorite Films With Toy Story 3 Director Lee Unkrich". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved February 4, 2011.
- Viera, Lauren (July 31, 2009). "Judd Apatow, king of the Funny People". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved July 13, 2013.
- Ordona, Michael (November 12, 2009). "Bill Nighy pretty much lived this role". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 13, 2013.
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Punch-Drunk Love|
- Punch-Drunk Love at the Internet Movie Database
- Punch-Drunk Love at Box Office Mojo
- Punch-Drunk Love at Rotten Tomatoes
- Punch-Drunk Love at Metacritic
- Early screenplay draft