Punching the Clown


Punching the Clown (2010)


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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.

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Critic Reviews for Punching the Clown

All Critics (15) | Top Critics (7)

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.

Nov 8, 2010 | Full Review…

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

Nov 8, 2010 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

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

Oct 30, 2010 | Full Review…

[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.

Oct 22, 2010 | Rating: 2.5/5 | Full Review…

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.

Oct 22, 2010 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

A partly biographical, drolly fabricated comedy.

Oct 21, 2010 | Full Review…

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