Picks and Pans Review: Punch-Drunk Love
What you have here is an Adam Sandler movie for people who don't normally like, or even go to, movies starring every teenage boy's favorite comic doofus. But it still features Sandler front and center, and that's a problem.
Written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson (Magnolia), Punch-Drunk Love is a romantic comedy as woozy as its title. Sandler, clad in a sapphire blue suit brighter than his character, plays a small-time entrepreneur who sells bathroom plungers from a warehouse in L.A.'s San Fernando Valley. He's an oddball, ill at ease socially and given to violent rages. One day one of his sisters introduces him to a coworker of hers (Watson), a lovely woman who, inexplicably, sets her cap for Sandler's loser. She must figure he's a reclamation project.
Anderson has made a swell-looking movie and Watson gives a lovely, daffy performance. But Sandler, in a film more nuanced than anything else he's ever done, remains Sandler, an inexpressive, lumpy schlub. (R)
Bottom Line: Sandler lacks Punch