Punchline - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Punchline Reviews

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October 28, 2017
I don't really get why all the people I've read, give mixed reviews about this film. It isn't a work of art, but has sort of excellence in a particular way, I find it timeless, even - really fun to watch.
September 24, 2016
The Standup meltdown was so odd, then Steven gold was crying. Tom hanks played the character.
½ June 11, 2016
Housewife joins the stand up comedy circuit in this entertaining romantic comedy.
½ December 27, 2015
Tom Hanks already knows the Kneepjes from the busines already from Saturday Night Live offcours ...but has nothing to do with the movie ! In this movie he plays Steven Gold who learns Lilah the kneepjes from Comedy ...in between he falls in love a bit and Lilah becomes better in her performences ! Funny at times , yes ! SOMDVD
½ October 31, 2015
big Sally Field fan!!!
½ April 16, 2015
The drama was good but the comedy was not.
March 17, 2015
Punchline n'est rien de plus qu'une sympathique comédie dramatique sur le monde méconnu des comédiens de stand-up qui jouent leurs routines dans des bouges pourris. David Seltzer a l'intelligence de ne pas trop appuyer sur l'embryon de romance entre Tom Hanks et Sally Field (comme d'habitude excellente) et de se concentrer plutôt sur la vie de famille de cette dernière, avec l'impeccable John Goodman en second rôle. Pas souvent drôle mais assez touchant, Punchline est quand même un film qui manque cruellement d'ambition et qui dure au moins 20 minutes de plus qu'il ne le devrait, ce qui le fait tirer en longueur dans le dernier acte, convenu.
½ July 22, 2014
A moderately hard-edged drama about the private and public lives of comedians, with a special emphasis on the desperate lengths they'll go to for a laugh, or to get an edge on the competition. Sally Field is the focal figure, a mousey housewife who feels destined for greatness but can't locate her own voice, while Tom Hanks plays a big supporting role as a natural performer who's an irresponsible, selfish a-hole behind the scenes. It's an uneven picture that doesn't really click for a number of different reasons. Primary among them is this unspoken sense that a movie about comedians should be funny. Though the on-stage segments are indeed quite flat, big punchlines (if you'll forgive the pun) aren't really the point of this story. Less forgivable is the awkward, cloudy relationship between Hanks and Field that dominates the plot, and the constant shifts in tone from one scene to the next. I never got a real handle on where the film was going, what it wanted to be or to say. That writing jokes is hard, I guess? Sometimes the happiest guy in the spotlight is actually a poisonous, miserable bastard? A complicated, tentative take that's puzzling in its lack of a firm identity.
April 21, 2014
Punchline is a middling excuse for a movie. It may have helped Tom Hanks when he didn't have the star status he has now, but it is not any sort of gem or "great early movie" from hanks. In fact, I would go as far as to say I didn't really care for his performance in this movie; nor did I care for Fields', either.
½ October 2, 2013
Was surprised how much I enjoyed this film. Hanks' character plays a very funny and successful stand-up comedian who has a not so funny and successful life off-stage. Sally Field plays a housewife who wants to fulfil her dreams of becoming a comedian but hasn't quite got the knack, but with the help of Hanks, becomes an overnight success.
½ September 25, 2013
OK, this is a really old movie, like almost before I was born old (OK, OK I was 5 when it came out...but it's OLD). It features the acting finesse of Sally Field and Tom Hanks, when they were SIGNIFICANTLY younger than they are now. I doubt it's a groundbreaker for either of their careers (the start of which predates 1988 by a few years for Hanks and a decade or two for Field), but in my opinion it grew both of their acting potential.

Although the film is only moderately reviewed and was not as widely released and marketed as it could have been, I personally believe it's a real gem of a film! So prepare for a positive review of a practically unknown film that I recommend for most if not all...

Just to explain how I came upon this film; me and my best friend were just skipping through a bunch of movies he had on his hard-drive and we came upon this movie. We said we would watch the first few minutes just to get the idea and move on. 2 hours later we emerged! That's says something...

First of all the story is so deep on so many levels. It explores the inexplicably dark world of stand up comedy in the 80's, where it was hit for few and miss for almost all. It's a thankless art that only the most passionate and talented have even a chance at succeeding. It then has side stories and romances that are not typical for the time.

Then there is the acting... Sally Field is so funny and has such charm on stage that it's hard to keep your eyes off her. Hanks is so fantastically talented that his charm just shines through even the darkest moments of his performances (and there are some acting masterpieces spread throughout the film). John Goodman also puts forth some great work.

The film is somehow both positive and negative at the same time. You are at times both happy and sad for the characters. It's an odd feeling that is hard to capture in a review and it's hard to explain as there are few movies out there that do this today. This is why I think this was a highly misunderstood film. It's an odd sensation of good and bad that so well encapsulates the field of standup, and I agree it's hard to understand without experience in that field.

What I can say is this, if you have 2 hours to watch what I consider a great movie about a really interesting topic with two great actors playing off each other, this is a great watch. If you are looking for blockbusters, look elsewhere.
July 22, 2013
My Favorite Comedy Film Is 1933's Duck Soup.
May 13, 2013
Starts up slow, but picks up speed and Sally Field I thought was great.
Super Reviewer
April 6, 2013
do not expect laughs! the cast are good and after some reflection you can appreciate it for what it is which is a case study of two budding stand up performers who arent far off of crossing the line between amatuer and professional with a couple of sub plots involving family life and a twisted attraction of one to the other
March 26, 2013
To this day I contend that 'Punchline' is the best movie with teaming Sally Field and Tom Hanks. To this day I am in the minority. Again, it's a movie where the actors elevate the so-so material into something worth watching. Sally Field is especially fun to watch as she transforms from housewife to Vegas Comic.
½ March 19, 2013
Is it a comedy or a drama? Is it a drama about comedians or a comedy with drama in it? I never could tell. Somewhere a younger Judd Apatow was taking notes.
March 9, 2013
Wow, Tom Hanks made so many bad movies early in his career.
½ February 21, 2013
Pretty good look at two comedians, one having the stage presence and one who does not, and how they both kind of help each other out in life. The ending was a let down, and Goodman and Damon Wayans are pretty much wasted.
Seeing a very young 'DJ Tanner' as the daughter was funny. And while it's a movie about comics, besides Hanks' riff in a hospital, I didn't really think any of their material was very funny.
January 22, 2013
For the first half hour, I thought this was an unfunny trainwreck with wonderful talent... But then it captured my heart. Lightyears better than "Funny People"... And I mean, by A LOT. Very similar story and theme for those two, but this is the superior comedian film. It's clear why "Forrest Gump" reteamed Sally Field and Tom Hanks together again a few years later. Their chemistry, while not romantic, is fantastic.
December 7, 2012
Will have to watch this one. Not necassarily good or bad. Will see. Want to watch!
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