Punch-Drunk Love

Punch-Drunk Love

Paul Thomas Anderson (2002)

15 Certificate


Our Score
Depending on your disposition towards quirky American comedies, this is either a truly original gem or a complete folly. Fans of director Paul Thomas Anderson's previous films Magnolia and Boogie Nights will be stunned - and as for fans of Adam Sandler, well, they won't know what's hit them. Sandler plays Barry Egan, the head of a bathroom novelties company who collects air-mile coupons in his spare time, is prone to uncontrollable rages and is mercilessly bullied by his seven sisters. In the first five minutes of the movie a car flips over outside his office, an old harmonium is abandoned and Emily Watson appears from nowhere and asks him to look after her car. Then things start to get really strange. Much has been made of lowbrow favourite Sandler teaming up with art house darling Anderson, but the curious combination works. Sandler's antisocial persona is given a surprising, touching twist that makes the volatile Egan entirely plausible, if still off-kilter, and he handles the movie's moments of slapstick and pathos with equal ease. It might take two viewings to make sense of this surreal, candid romance, and even then that might not help - but it doesn't matter. This is a film you just experience - it's illogical and beautiful, just like falling in love.


A socially awkward salesman's henpecking sisters have left him without a life of his own and a great deal of anger. However, when they fix him up on a date with a free-spirited woman he is totally smitten - and determined nothing will spoil his one shot at true love. Unfortunately, a call he made to an adult chatline leaves him open to blackmail and threatens to jeopardise his new romance. Paul Thomas Anderson's comedy, with Adam Sandler, Emily Watson, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Luis Guzman.

Cast & Crew

Barry Egan Adam Sandler
Lena Leonard Emily Watson
Dean Trumbell Philip Seymour Hoffman
Lance Luis Guzman
Elizabeth Mary Lynn Rajskub
Susan Lisa Spector
Kathleen Julie Hermelin
Kathleen Karen Hermelin
Rhonda Hazel Mailloux
Director Paul Thomas Anderson
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Columbia TriStarGuidance: Contains swearing.Available on: video, DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 7 Feb 2003
Comedy Drama