in about 100 words or less
US 95m, Colour
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson; Cast: Sandler, Emily Watson, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Luis Guzmán
Punch Drunk Love is an unusual dark romantic comedy about Barry Egan, an emotionally fragile young man who becomes the target of a phone sex operator’s extortion plans. Susceptible to fits of uncontrolled rage brought on by years of ridicule by his domineering sisters, Barry’s attention is torn between running his own business, buying a huge amount of “Healthy Choice” pudding to exploit a frequent flyer program, learning to play a harmonium that he found on the street, and putting a stop to those responsible for harassing him and injuring his new girlfriend. Sandler’s outstanding dramatic performance as the oddly likable Barry Egan is the key to this quirky film which is unexpectedly engaging despite its rather thin plot (Klaus Ming December 2012).