peteg's blog - noise - movies - 2024 02 12 PunchDrunkLove

Punch Drunk Love (2002)

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Third time around with this P.T. Anderson misfire. I've softened on Adam Sandler after Uncut Gems but even so there's not enough going on here. Things are perhaps oversimplified by Emily Watson's lack of a character: she's keen on him and that's that. More Philip Seymour Hoffman might've helped, or Luis Guzmán. Still too many pratfalls?

Roger Ebert: three-and-a-half stars, probably because this was Sandler's most modulated performance to then. IMDB trivia: Anderson got the best director award at Cannes 2002 but missed out on the Palme d'Or. A. O. Scott: a Critic's Pick. Peter Bradshaw gave it just three stars of five: a strange, insubstantial little film with so many problems. A love story made from neon candyfloss.