Customer Review

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Who is Adam Sandler?, March 25, 2008
This review is from: Punch-Drunk Love (Two-Disc Special Edition) (DVD)
Paul Thomas Anderson is either hit or miss with me. I liked Hard Eight, I loved Boogie Nights, but I really thought he lost his way with Magnolia. That isn't to say I can't recognize that he is immensely talented and I'm looking forward to seeing his latest film There Will Be Blood. Punch-Drunk Love is a smaller movie about Barry Egan, a business owner who sells novelty items such as stylized toilet plungers. Everything about Barry Egan permeates with a kind of frustrating sadness. His seven older sisters constantly insult him and his life is consistently portrayed as minimalist and disassociated. He is a profoundly lonely man. His bizarre social behavior is awkward but at times spirals into both perversion as well as intensely violent fits of rage. All the while, he is portrayed as the film's protagonist. Anderson is especially delicate in making us understand his eccentricities as justifiable survival mechanisms within the paradigm of his uncomfortable past and nearly pathetic current life. Anderson is careful not to mock or exploit Egan for his faults.

Who could play such a unique and intriguing character? I have to admit, I'm a big fan of Adam Sandler's early comedies. Especially Billy Madison and I don't care who knows about it. I love the silly and stupid humor of Adam Sandler and I firmly believe it is what put him on the map. But he was just a character in those early films and besides those films really are just a series of comedy sketches. It would've made more sense if Billy Madison were placed into a CGI world, a cartoon, or a comic book in the first place. He continued to be silly all along but his characters always carried this dark side that wasn't easy to pinpoint among the poop jokes and slap-stick. He was almost like Adam West's Batman was in the old television show and how we see Batman now in Christopher Nolan's Batman movies is how we see Adam Sandler in Punch-Drunk Love. It is as if Billy Madison or Happy Gilmore were snatched away from the unrealistic comedic worlds of those respective films and aggressively forced to exist in the real world, where every scene isn't necessarily working toward a punch-line. Although, much of Barry Egan's behavior in the real world is, at least on the surface, not unlike the behavior of Madison and Gilmore.

The most amazing thing about the whole Sandler dynamic is that he can really act. He stands toe-to-toe with Phillip Seymour Hoffman (an Anderson regular who happens to be an amazing actor) in my favorite scene of the movie, where these two angry idiots just scream back and forth at each other over the phone. The scene makes their later encounter in person an amazing confrontation. Every single scene Sandler is in we tend to feel for the people around him. Knowing what his temper is capable of made me uncomfortable for the people who surround him but especially uncomfortable for Egan himself, who seemingly can't settle into his own skin. He does seem to find some comfort around Lena (Emily Watson), whose relationship with Barry is really what the film is intent on seeing through.

Punch-Drunk Love has a great style. Anderson has a way of making ordinary scenes memorable and important scenes extraordinary. He is a also a great writer and makes even the smallest characters as strong as his leads. The soundtrack is of course the perfect fit as well. In the end and most important of all, Anderson tries hard to allow us the pleasure of watching Barry Egan bring some kind of comfort into his troubled life and I for one was surprised to enjoy it as much as I did.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 

Comments


Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 25, 2008 8:12:03 PM PDT
Okay. I'll give it a look.

Posted on Apr 5, 2008 8:50:06 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 5, 2008 11:12:54 PM PDT
This was a great review. I also like Adam Sandler. Actually Adam Sandler is Peter Forsberg's favorite actor. Peter Forsberg is that famous Swedish Ice Hockey player.
‹ Previous 1 Next ›

Review Details

Item

3.4 out of 5 stars (405 customer reviews)
5 star:
 (171)
4 star:
 (66)
3 star:
 (29)
2 star:
 (34)
1 star:
 (105)
 
 
 
$28.96 $8.15
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Reviewer


Top Reviewer Ranking: 39,629