Fred's No Clue Movie Review: "Punch-Drunk Love"
   
                                                                           Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson


   
Well, I have to admit that Iím not the biggest fan of P.T. Anderson.  I found Magnolia to be a bit pretentious and Boogie Nights to be slow at times.  That being said, it didnít surprise me that Iíd have a few problems with Punch-Drunk Love.  I will say that after seeing most of his films, even though I come away a bit unsatisfied, I do usually think about the movie for a few days.  This film was no exception.  So thatís my first compliment. 

    I didnít think Iíd enjoy watching Emily Watson and Adam Sandler together on screen.  And for the most part I was right.  What did surprise me is that neither one annoyed me.  I found Sandlerís Barry Egan enjoyable to watch on screen.  Obviously, a great character for Sandler to prove that he could act when he wants to.  A quirky guy who has some serious obsessive-compulsive tendencies, including buying large quantities of pudding in order to get frequent flyer miles.  He also has some anger management issues, with both family and strangers.  Emily Watson plays his girlfriend, Lena, who is drawn to this strange man even though he gives her plenty of reasons to avoid him like the plague.  They donít exude chemistry on screen together, but they do fit their characters nicely.  The movie actually works better since they donít appear to be a great match.  It gives the characters more reasons to look for to be together.

    Anderson plays this like an old time romantic comedy, with all the quirks left in for good measure.  Luis Guzman and Phillip Seymour Hoffman play outstanding supporting actors that you have to watch to appreciate.  I loved the music in this film, which was scored by Jon Brion.  It has a great title sequence which does itís best to draw you into the world of the film.  Many times it appeared to me that Anderson was also invoking old MGM style musicals of the 30ís and 40ís.  Barryís bright blue suit that he wears throughout the film, and his passion for dancing around reminded me of those old musicals. 

    So can I tell you to run out and see this movie?  No way.  But I can tell you that if youíre looking for something original, this is definitely one to check out.  Sandler delivers a performance that many didnít think he had in him.  Emily Watson also fleshes out a character that leaves you wondering, is she nuts? or just really understanding.  Iím not sure I understood the flick, but it did sit in my brain for a while. 

    Thatís got to be something. 

Got comments?  Suggestions?  Iíd love to hear them.

email me at no.clue@indenation.com  

come back soon, until then, iíll be at the moviesÖ

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