Punch Drunk Love- A PTA Club Discussion

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These haven't been very successful so far but we will keep trying. The threads don't ever have to die anyway and they can be housed on the club page.



These haven't been very successful so far but we will keep trying. The threads don't ever have to die anyway and they can be housed on the club page.
I'll always join in. You join in with everything i do and you start stuff i want to join in with all the time.

Will probably be the second week of this that i'll rewatch/review it but i'll bump it with inane links to keep it in peoples minds.



Haven't watched this in awhile, but it's weirdly stuck with me over the years. Three things, in particular:

1) Sandler's performance. I think it was Ebert who noted that this was sort of the serious version of the angry clown thing he's done in so many other films. From his review of the film:
In voice and mannerisms he is the same childlike, love-starved Adam Sandler we've seen in a series of dim comedies, but this film, by seeing him in a new light, encourages us to look again at those films ... Paul Thomas Anderson says he loves Sandler's comedies--they cheer him up on lonely Saturday nights--but as the director of "Boogie Nights" and "Magnolia" he must have been able to sense something missing in them, some unexpressed need. The Sandler characters are almost oppressively nice, like needy puppies, and yet they conceal a masked hostility to society, a passive-aggressive need to go against the flow, a gift for offending others while in the very process of being ingratiating.
2) The incredible awkwardness. This is the strongest feeling in my memories about this film. The phone sex, the confrontation with Hoffman's character over the phone. Just brutally strained, pained, and uncomfortable. By design, I'm sure, though this is one of the reasons I've never rewatched it.

3) The idea that love is empowering. Okay, it's corny, but "I have a love in my life. It makes me stronger than anything you can imagine." is a great line. Not because it's clever or witty or even particularly original, but because it's true and perceptive, and perfectly encapsulates the feeling it's referencing. There's a genuine "wind at your back" sensation to having someone with you that sounds weird and amorphous from a distance, but completely real and concrete when you have it.

There are already so many songs and stories about being in love that focus on the giving part, on the obsessive selflessness of it. I would do anything for you, I'd die for you, you're my everything, et cetera. And that part is, given our fundamentally selfish natures, surely the better part. But it's well-trod ground, too. I like that this film talks about the other side: the complimentary nature of a good relationship and the mutual benefits that aren't why you fall in love, but still part of why it's good.




3) The idea that love is empowering. Okay, it's corny, but "I have a love in my life. It makes me stronger than anything you can imagine." is a great line. Not because it's clever or witty or even particularly original, but because it's true and perceptive, and perfectly encapsulates the feeling it's referencing. There's a genuine "wind at your back" sensation to having someone with you that sounds weird and amorphous from a distance, but completely real and concrete when you have it.
Everything you stated is really well said, as usual, Yoda. I am glad you concentrated on this line though. I really think it is one of my favorites ever. Like you said, it isn't particularly deep or poetic but it is really powerful, or better yet empowering like you said. Barry is no longer fighting for himself. You could see him being in the same situation even without his new love but having that love has changed his whole reason for his rage. It is such a great moment. I could get Christiany with the line as well but I will spare everyone.

Unlike you I have seen the film 4 times at this point. Probably not coincidentally 3 of those have come since my divorce. The thread of loneliness runs deep in PTA's filmography but this may be the character that exemplifies it the most. I love how this character is lonely without really ever being alone, it makes it feel so real. Barry has others in his life that care about him and are looking out for him. They don't understand him though or what his true desires are so they are completely ineffective in helping him with his loneliness.

The scene where he breaks the sliding glass door is one of my favorites. Nobody is doing anything wrong. His sisters are teasing him a bit, but I don't get the impression that is abnormal. It is just all the nonsense swirling around him. There are people who love him and want to interact with him. His sister even wants to bring love to him but he can't take it. They don't understand him and he just snaps. Very powerful scene.

I love the score in Punch Drunk. May even like it more than There Will Be Blood. Similar to his other films though because it conveys a constant tension that never relents. PTA has never made a thriller but has four movies that have more tension than the best thrillers simply because of the scores.

I am gushing as I tend to do when I start talking about PTA. I will leave it there for now.



These haven't been very successful so far but we will keep trying. The threads don't ever have to die anyway and they can be housed on the club page.
When you pick a better director, I'll be happy to join



Sucks to be you, because that director doesn't exist.
But.. but.. Wes Anderson?
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Letterboxd

Originally Posted by Iroquois
To be fair, you have to have a fairly high IQ to understand MovieForums.com.



But.. but.. Wes Anderson?
I think which Anderson I prefer depends on which one I am watching at the moment. I would like to watch Wes's films leading up to his new one in March if you are interested in that as well.