This movie offers an unusual, slow, optimistic unfolding of love between two people whose lives limit them so much they couldn't have found love except that it dropped on them by serendipity. Sandler, known for wacky, flaky, over-the-top comedy, shows a new side as Barry Egan, an ambitious small business owner who sells unusual toilet plungers. One day outside his business, someone drops a small piano on the road, which he puts into his office. Shortly after, he encounters Lena (Watson) needing help with her car. As a nice guy, he complies. Later, Lena turns out to be an employee of his sister's; his sister has been trying to set them up, but her suspicions of her brother complicated the task. Lena took matters into her own hands.
Barry is a nice guy who tries his best, but all seven of his sisters, despite meaning well, insult and embarrass him with repetitions of how they used to tease him. Not knowing how to respond, Barry's developed a habit of venting his rage on restaurant bathrooms and sliding glass doors.
One lonely night, Barry calls a sex telephone service, just to have someone to talk to, and ends up getting strong-armed for cash by the sex-talk service operator. Barry's also involved in cheating a food company offering free frequent-flyer points on all purchases of their items, including individual pudding cups that Barry pounces on, buying cartloads of 25-cent cups so he can fly anywhere free.
The small but interesting plot and great performances by both Sandler and Watson allow us to glimpse the real actor in Sandler's, evoking Jim Carey in "The Truman Show." Both films are serious, yet able to crack jokes.
Anderson has written and directed a couple of gems: "Boogie Nights," and "Magnolia," among others. This movie's unique style and interesting music choices give it an edge. Punch Drunk Love is a knockout!
Paul Thomas Anderson
Paul Thomas Anderson
Adam Sandler, Emily Watson
Adam Sandler, phone-sex blackmail, Hawaii, harmonium
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