I Watched… (#42)

25 Apr

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Punch-Drunk Love (2002)

P.T. Anderson’s venture into the romantic-comedy genre brings out mixed results with Adam Sandler, and his more serious side, driving the film onwards.

Barry Egan (Sandler) is an odd businessman, burdened with seven overbearing sisters, who sells themed toilet plungers amongst other novelty items from his Los Angeles garage office. Prone to outbursts of extreme violence and psychologically troubled, yet Barry still manages to meet Englishwoman Lena (Emily Watson) and fall in love; but he still has things to sort out including pudding coupons and a mattress salesman in this quirky take on the rom-com genre.

There is a great and charming story somewhere within Punch-Drunk Love, but it is buried under one too many layers of oddity and general weirdness, as if P.T. Anderson is trying too hard to impress and falling just short. Some of the music and surreal moments feel just too far out of place.
Sandler does a solid job but you won’t suddenly love him or be easily impressed if you remember his numerous damp squib comedies over the years.

Enjoyable but probably one of the weakest in P.T. Anderson’s filmography, but he does set himself a very high bar.

7/10

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