Punching the Clown (2010)

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

A modern-day troubadour learns the whimsical rules of the record industry after moving out to Los Angeles and becoming the subject of a vicious rumor. Henry Phillips travels through the heartland singing his satirical folk songs to anyone willing to give him the time of day. In the wake of a booking mishap involving a Christian fundraiser, however, Henry decides that it's high time he moves to a place where people can appreciate his twisted sense of humor. A few days later, Henry is crashing his brother's couch in L.A. But while his brother can't get an acting gig to save his life, Henry finds success almost overnight. A few solid shows later, and Henry gets a record deal, some radio airplay, and a positive write-up in a local paper. Not only that, but the pretty barista Henry's been admiring from afar finally seems to notice that he actually exists. Unfortunately, L.A. can be a fickle town, and when Henry becomes the unwitting subject of a nasty rumor, the success he's worked so hard to achieve suddenly begins to slip from his grasp.
Rating:
NR
Genre:
Comedy , Musical & Performing Arts
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 limited
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:

Cast

Henry Phillips
as Himself
Ellen Ratner
as Ellen Pinsky
Wade Kelley
as Captain Chaotic
Mik Scriba
as Joel
Evan Arnold
as Don Chase
Mark Cohen
as Stupid Joe
Derek Waters
as Dave the Intern
Michelle Anne Johnson
as Jane Crown Jones
Mike MacRae
as Car Heckler
Beth Kennedy
as Booker
Suzie Rose
as Abby
Nikki Glaser
as Olympia
Ryan Stout
as Johnny
Travis Clark
as Travis
Eddie Berke
as Bartender
Nora Gruber
as Jennie
Warren Herr
as Café Manager
Matthew Morgan
as Last Cigarette Guy
Gregori Viens
as Lawyer
Jim Hamilton
as Barfly
Judd Fish
as Skinhead
Faye Gauthier
as Protester
Fay Gauthier
as Protester
Joe Kelley, Jr.
as Bar Patron
Nathan Hillen
as Big Cat
April Wade
as Party Guest
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Critic Reviews for Punching the Clown

All Critics (14) | Top Critics (7)

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | February 22, 2012
Variety
Top Critic

The comic folksinger Henry Phillips stars in this wry, poignant, smartly satirical comedy as himself, and puts himself into uneasy situations in which he doesn't always come out as the hero.

Full Review… | November 8, 2010
New Yorker
Top Critic

Every aspiring performer will appreciate Gregori Viens' unassuming comedy, which cheerfully skewers industry pretensions and media-fueled trends.

Full Review… | November 8, 2010
New York Daily News
Top Critic

Familiar show-business satire is enlivened by genuinely witty, off-kilter humor.

Full Review… | October 29, 2010
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

[If it] isn't entirely successful, it's partly because the music -- late-night satire swathed in gentle folkie chords -- and Mr. Phillips's modest but knowing manner don't quite match up with the "Star Is Born" clichés of the plot.

Full Review… | October 21, 2010
New York Times
Top Critic

Punching the Clown is welcome proof that there remains at least one industry in which the US can compete with New Zealand: the parody folk-song business.

Full Review… | October 21, 2010
New York Post
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Punching the Clown

This is a good film for anyone aspiring to be successfully in Hollywood. every part of this film worked for me except i didin't find this comedy song maker's songs very funny. This wouldn't be such a bad thing but the premis of the movie is he cant get a break while there are crappyer guys out there who get all the success. Full of funny LA situations, there a little "curb your enthusiasm" in this. You do feel pretty invested in a guy i had never heard of and who is playing himself.

Alex Wolf Rkc
Alex Wolf Rkc
½

Partly a musical comedy performance film, partly an endearing little fish/big pond narrative comedy, partly a Hollywood cautionary tale mockumentary, 100% satisfying.

Paul Levins
Paul Levins

If it isn't entirely successful, it's partly because the music -- late-night satire swathed in gentle folkie chords -- and Mr. Phillips's modest but knowing manner don't quite match up with the "Star Is Born" cliches of the plot.

Lee Mayo
Lee Mayo

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