Punch-Drunk Love (2002) - Rotten Tomatoes

Punch-Drunk Love (2002)



Critic Consensus: Odd, touching, and unique, Punch-Drunk Love is also delightfully funny, utilizing Adam Sandler's comic persona to explore the life of a lonely guy who finds love.

Movie Info

A dark comedy centering around Barry Egan, the socially impaired owner of a small business-distributing novelty toilet plungers-in the San Fernando Valley. Dominated by seven sisters, and constantly negotiating his own manhood, he is unlikely to find romance unless romance finds him. In an attempt to resolve his loneliness, while having a vulnerable moment, Barry contacts a phone sex operator who, in turn threatens him with blackmail. Connected to a larger business network, the operator sends some thugs on a mission from Utah to California, to follow, scare, and extort Barry. Barry becomes desperate, until a new door opens in his life. Therefore, when one of his sisters fixes him up with a lovely young English woman, Lena--who has rather quirky qualities herself--his emotions go haywire, fluctuating between lust, self-doubt, and uncontrollable rage. Nonetheless, Barry will embark upon whatever adventure it takes, just to have a shot at true romance.more
Rating: R (for strong language including a scene of sexual dialogue)
Genre: Drama, Romance, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Paul Thomas Anderson
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jun 24, 2003
Box Office: $17.8M
Columbia Pictures - Official Site


Adam Sandler
as Barry Egan
Emily Watson
as Lena Leonard
Ashley Clark
as "Georgia, " Phone Se...
Larry Ring
as Steve/Brother-in-Law
Kerry Gelbard
as Richard/Brother-in-L...
David Schrempf
as Customer No. 1
Seann Conway
as Customer No. 2
Julius Steuer
as Mechanic
Carol Martinez
as Phone Sex Girl No. 1...
June Sepulveda
as Phone Sex Girl No. 2...
Andrew Higgs
as Restaurant Manager
Rogerlyn Kanealii Wa...
as Lena's Apartment Rec...
Catherine L. Cooley
as Flight Attendant
Michael Immel
as Man on Plane
Ross Lasi Tanoai
as Cab Driver
Jonathan Loughran
as Wrong Number
Sissy Lake
as Hula Dancer
Marie Irwin
as Lena's Nurse
Esther Imade Balogun
as Receptionist Nurse
Tom Bornt
as Dean's Employee
Mary Kilmartin
as D&D Mattress Custome...
Alan Parry
as Member of After Eden...
John E. Beck
as Member of After Eden...
Eddie Wayne Howell
as Member of After Eden...
Taylor J. Thomas
as Member of After Eden...
Bobby Bluehouse
as After Eden Sound Man
as Member of Ladies K B...
as Member of Ladies K B...
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Punch-Drunk Love

Critic Reviews for Punch-Drunk Love

All Critics (192) | Top Critics (40)

It's a romantic comedy on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

Full Review… | November 1, 2007
Top Critic

The film looks good and has its funny moments, but too often one senses Anderson straining to impress...

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Anderson knows precisely how to convey his ideas, but the ideas themselves often feel slight once delivered.

Full Review… | February 26, 2012
Not Coming to a Theater Near You

Odd romantic journey for adults and older teens.

Full Review… | December 28, 2010
Common Sense Media

While certainly sweet, Love is more compelling as a veiled threat, with Anderson jerking the audience around, wielding abrasive characters and hostile situations in a manner I've come to adore.

Full Review… | December 28, 2009

One of the best and most poignant films of 2002...

Full Review… | April 29, 2009
Cinema Crazed

Audience Reviews for Punch-Drunk Love

Adam Sandler shows, much to our utmost surprise, that he can act when he wants and that he was a perfect choice for this Anderson's take on a romantic comedy, a sweet, darkly humorous and amazingly well-directed film that is miles above most romcoms that Hollywood produces.

Carlos Magalh„es

Super Reviewer


Sublime and surreal, this is quite a film from Paul Thomas Anderson. It is a smaller film from him, but one that is still as impressive as his others.

The plot follows a shy sad sack prone to occasionally violent outbursts who begins dating a woman as equally shy and awkward as him. He's got seven sisters who hate and mock him, and he's got four goons after him looking for money after he gets extorted following a phone call he made to a phone sex line.

The film is weird, as it is a surreal romantic dramedy, but like Brazil, despite that there are dark undertones (more subtle here than in Brazil) there is a quirky, uplifting feeling and charm as well...which I really enjoyed. Whimsical is the perfect way to describe this film. The acting is superb-leave it at that. No, I'm not kidding. This is Sandler's best.

This film above all, is just wonderful to look at, and another reason for why it's so charming and great. It is a bit rough around the edges, and kinda bizarre, but it's really hard not to like, which is sad since it's still pretty underrated, but I really hope that changes.

Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

A visually interesting and unconventional love story about a very awkward character coming into his own. I've tried, but I just don't think P.T. Anderson is my kind of film-maker - I recognize why the work he's doing is good, but I don't enjoy it all that much. Of course, all Anderson acolytes tell me that you have to watch his movies a few times before you really see how much he's doing, and how well. I'm open to revising my opinion someday... in the meantime, Sandler surprises here, and there is some wacky intrigue, but overall it comes of like the Coen brothers with an MFA. Not terrible, just not my cup of tea.

Daniel Perry

Super Reviewer

Punch-Drunk Love Quotes

Barry Egan: I laugh. I laugh and laugh, even when I'm alone.
– Submitted by Jacob M (2 years ago)
Lena Leonard: So here we go.
– Submitted by Kia M (2 years ago)
Barry Egan: I didn't ask for a shrink, that must've been somebody else. Also, that pudding isn't mine. Also, I'm wearing this suit today because I had a very important meeting this morning, and I don't have a crying problem.
– Submitted by Kia M (2 years ago)
Lena Leonard: People are just crazy in this world, I think.
– Submitted by Kia M (2 years ago)

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