Friday, April 21, 2006

Punch Drunk Love

This was my favorite film of 2002 (I think that was the year). It's since become one of my favorite films of all time (No, this is not one of the many superlatives that happens to escape my mouth). I just watched it the other night for probably the sixth or seventh time and I still love everything about it. I love Adam Sandler's angry frustrated dorky character and I love Emily Watson's angelic acceptance of Adam Sandler's angry frustrated dorky character. And I love the antagonist - Phillup Seymour Hoffman as Dan the Mattress Man with his posse of evil phone sex operators and the four brothers all stationed out of his "D & D Mattress Place" in Provo, UT.

In this film I NEVER knew what was going to come next. And when it did come it wasn't a weird odd scene thrown in there just to be original or different or "quirky." Each sequence comes totally unexpected out of left field but afterwards feels like the only possible thing that could have been there.

In so many movies everything is telegraphed and we know just what's coming around the corner or scenes feel like they're just thrown in there and they could be interchangeable with numerous others. Sometimes in even well written stories I feel like, "Oh now we're going to have a scene where this happens because this will resolve that and this needs to go here..." and I find myself taking the fun out of the experience of watching the movie. Punch Drunk Love was totally unexpected for me in that way.

I've talked to many people about this movie and the reactions that I've noticed from most people is either, "That movie was WHACKED out man!! The guy who did that must have been on tons of drugs!" (maybe this is true) the other response is from people who like me found the movie to be not only funny and interesting but even inspiring. I could delve into the symbolism of Barry learning througout the movie how to play a simple tune on the Harmonium or the Big Bang of a car crash at the beginning of the film but instead I'll just say that for me it's an uplifting love story if I've ever seen one. An obviously flawed guy with some major weaknesses is loved despite those weaknesses must accepts that love instead of hiding from it and stop doubting his own worthiness of that love. Once he does this the love in his life makes his weaknesses become his strengths. Beautiful.

Adam Sandler was definitely overlooked in this film. He should've at least been nominated for an oscar.
Emily Watson is perfect.
Luiz Guzman, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and other supporting cast is amazing and hilarious.
The editing and cinematography is deliberate without feeling stale.
And Paul Thomas Anderson's script and direction are top notch. He definitely deserved his Cannes award for best director. I've since seen Magnolia which most people consider his masterpiece. I enjoyed Magnolia but I love Punch Drunk Love.


Blogger Bryan Summers said...

I also loved Punchdrunk love. I've always been an Adam Sandler fan since he was on Saturday Night Live, so it was nice to see him in a movie that was critically accepted.

It is my third favorite of Paul Thomas Anderson's four movies.

I liked Magnolia also, (I loved it when I first saw it) but I wasn't as crazy the second time I saw it. Too uneven and I get a little bored with the constant kvetching. It's my least favorite of his movies.

I think his masterpiece is Boogie Nights. So funny and I loved every character. There is not one weak moment in that film.

12:58 AM  

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