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COOP

LOVE this movie so much.

brandon curtis

It's been ages since I've seen this film. I was twenty or twenty-one when it came out and probably a world away from truly understanding it, but I admired it for the way it took Adam Sandler's man child fits of rage and crafted a real, damaged, vulnerable person around it. This review really makes me want to see it again.

That being said, I have a tendency to occasionally posit the question of what in any actor's filmography is their "Unforgiven?"

At the time I had suggested that "Funny People" was Adam Sandler's. It was partly because it is more a reflection of who he is to popular culture than, perhaps, "Punch Drunk Love" is but I suspect when you start to look at how deep the wounds and the regrets of a hard lived life go you probably arrive at the conclusion my friend did, it was "Punch Drunk Love."

I guess there's no point in asking which side of the line you fall on, but I thought I'd share.

Aaron

Anderson's best film - better than "There Will Be Blood." Another unforgettable scene is visiting his sisters then blowing the windows out. "I don't like myself," Sandler says. We do.

JeanRZEJ

I was watching this again recently and realized that it is both an anti-romantic comedy and an especially romantic anti-romantic comedy. The easiest thing to notice is that the female makes all of the initial moves, even though she's not the main character, which already puts it in opposition to a conservative estimate of 99.9% of them. For evidence: She shows up to meet him without being introduced, she asks him if he wants to have dinner with her, and she calls him before he leaves her building telling her she wanted to kiss him. Having a troubled and violent leading man doesn't make it any more conventional, and his later obsessiveness could certainly have sucked the romance out of the story quite quickly and turned it a bit frightening had she not made the first moves. Of course, it's this imbalance which allows for his ultra-romantic gestures, flying to Hawaii on a whim and snapping on the thugs and driving out to Utah and saying crazy things that somehow make total sense like, "I have a love in my life. It makes me stronger than anything you can imagine." That all of these details are isolated and opposed to conventional elements mixes in well with the expected elements - the romantic kiss at the door and the hands joining as they walk down the hallway and the other scenes I'm forgetting now... the important point: it is a very self-aware romantic comedy, because as opposed as its central elements are it is still both romantic and comedy, so there's no escaping its categorization. I think it's brilliant, though, how it takes the conventional elements which seem so essential to create a pair of likable characters that can be easily empathized with and throws them out the window to make something even more romantic, funnier due to their disconnects, and yet totally believable because they're not caricatures, and may in fact have some personal problems they need to work out. But even then - they're going to work them out together, which makes it more romantic than the conventions ever could. Which is to say - Anderson took the elements which were ineffectual and flaccid, made them more troubling and bizarre, and somehow perfected the genre. Brilliant! I fuckin' love your enthusiasm for the film, I just wanna smash it with a sledgehammer and squeeze it.

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