Pudding Guy
Punch Drunk Love
Review by Ross Anthony

Goodness, this is no "Wedding Singer!" And it's about 4 football fields away from being a "Waterboy!" If you're an Adam Sandler fan, expecting the same silly shtick (like me!), my recommendation is a pass on this odd little film.

Speaking of odd, not only am I a big Sandler fan, but Paul Thomas Anderson Punch Drunk Love(writer/director) blew me away with his "Magnolia." With such an "odd" pairing, I eagerly anticipated "Punch Drunk Love." Then, for some reason, I simply forgot about the director and expected a slapstickin', good ol' Sandler picture. Instead, I witnessed a foreign film made right here in the USA. "Punch Drunk" is a little Woody Allen, a little David Lynch, a little French, a little artsy, a dash Sandler and Emily Watson.

Sandler plays a self-employed eccentric/phobic single guy whose sometimes-violent idiosyncrasies may have likely been caused by his seven prodding sisters. Plagued by bureaucracy and a cruel-intentioned phone-sex staff, Sandler teeters on the edge of sanity while possibly falling for innocent-eyed Emily Watson.

At times queerly adorable, at times clanging and annoying, awkwardly comedic, this is not a laugh out loud comedy, though you might laugh out loud a few times. The humor is subtle and plays second fiddle to the artsy ambiance. A few interesting story lines take to screen, but even fewer are developed to fruition, making "Punch Drunk Love" feel more like a slice of life film or ... a toy.

Notes: Paul Thomas optioned the rights to real life "Pudding Guy" David Phillips' story. Phillips accumulated 1.25 million miles by purchasing 12,150 cups of Healthy Choice pudding for a mere $3000. A Sandler fan himself, Paul tailored the script for Adam.

  • Punch Drunk Love. Copyright © 2002. Rated R.
  • Starring Adam Sandler, Emily Watson, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Luis Guzman.
  • Written and Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson.
  • Produced by JoAnne Sellar, Daniel Lupi, Paul at Revolution/New Line/Columbia.


Copyright © 2001. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit: RossAnthony.com

chili4 special olympians
power5 ra hforh radiop

Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:00:48 PDT