Classic Film Review: Punch Drunk Love

Full Title: Punch Drunk Love
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Year: 2002
Comments: Ever since I was a little kid I have been a fan of Adam Sandler as a comedian, but after watching this film I have gained more respect/appreciation for him than ever before. For years people told me to see this film and I put it off for whatever reasons (now, I’m kicking myself in the teeth for waiting so long!). I have seen Sandler in “serious” roles in Reign Over Me (2007) and Funny People (2009), but neither of these films convinced me that Sandler was (or could be) a terrific actor. PDL has done just that for me and so much more. Firstly, the story tells the tale of Barry Egan (Sandler), a businessman that suffers from severe social issues and has yet to make any real connection with anyone in his life, particularly a romantic relationship, which he clearly desires. Soon, he finds his sister hooking him up with a sweet friend from her work, Lena (Emily Watson), whom oddly takes a liking to Barry (and vice versa) and attempts to understand his peculiar, little world. Now, it is time for the timid, introverted Barry to obliterate his defense mechanisms and for once actually live his life. All in all, this is a top notch flick, Paul Thomas Anderson is a master raconteur: the story is slow, but purposefully slow, if that makes any sense. It revels in its characters, letting them develop, so when they finally ACT it is all the more meaninful. Also, the music is incredible and nicely complements what is happening on screen. We hear a loud, pounding score that perfectly corresponds to the mayhem occuring in the paranoid, disturbed brain of Barry’s. Without a doubt, one of the finest films of the last decade. I plan on revisiting this in the future.

Grade: A- (9/10)

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