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  Film Reviews: Punch Drunk Love: The NOT Adam Sandler Film  
 

Tuesday, November 19
Punch Drunk Love: The NOT Adam Sandler Film
punchdrunk
Paul Thomas Anderson is a brilliant director. He makes big films about small stories. There was “Boogie Nights” which, on the surface was about porn, but turned out to be about people trying to find their place in the world. Then there was “Magnolia,” which turned out to be a story about the improbable nature of people trying to find their place in the world.

So what’s this director doing with Adam Sandler? Everyone knows that Sandler is the goofy guy that yells a lot and does funny voices. He isn’t an actor. There’s no depth to Adam Sander. Why, oh why, would Anderson put him in a movie? Because he’s a genius.

Sandler plays Barry Eagan, the sole brother of seven sisters, all of whom are determined to remind him of every misstep, embarrassment and failure that he has experienced in life. Once they are done with remembrance of days past, then the torture about his future begins.

And then there’s Emily Watson as Lena Leonard, the soft-spoken woman with an English accent that seems as if she’s just figured out how to hang onto life. With this small grip, she extends a hand to Barry, waiting for him to grab on and share this wonderful secret.

But he’s made a terrible mistake. A phone call that was supposed to bring some momentary companionship to his life has spiraled out of control and threatens to bring more humiliation to his life than the hammer through the plate glass window.

Much as anything in life, it is that thing that we think we’ll never make it though that tests our metal. Between the part where we realize that we’re in deep and that moment when we reflect on our journey, we forget what the middle was really like. This is the story that Anderson weaves for his characters. There, in technicolor detail, we find the story of every painful step in Barry’s journey.

It has been said of acting, “dying is easy – comedy is hard.” Sandler proves that, bringing in a performance so real that you would believe that he has actually lived this life.

The Usual:

What it’s Worth: Head out for the afternoon matinee and a nice lunch.

Annoying Theater Goer: The cashier. I had an Entertainment coupon that allowed me up to 4 tickets at $5 each. At the Arena Grand, this meant husband and I would pay $10 for the movie and $1 for parking. The transaction took several minutes – while I was able to hand over the parking money, the $10 part was overwhelming. After explaining that I did indeed wish to trade the strange paper object to see the flickering pictures in the theater and enlisting the help of another cashier, we were able to trade money for tickets.

Main Reason To See This Film: This is the character-driven small story that we wish all filmmakers really made.

Main Reason Not To See This Film: Mr. Anderson is getting a tad wink-wink with his films. The camera pauses just lone enough on Phillp Seymour Hoffman and Luiz Guzman as if to say “if you’re cool and you’ve seen my movies before you know these people and are cool enough to be in my club.”

MPAA Rating: R

Nudity: No.

   
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