Punch-Drunk Love ★★★★★

I had a really hard time with this movie. Barry Egan (Sandler) is a troubled soul, and I projected all of my own anxieties about life and love and miscommunication onto his character. I had to stop the movie an hour in because it was hitting too close to home, and I absolutely hate stopping movies. After some introspection and with some trepidation I did finish it, but it never got easier.

My perception is that all reviews have an element of personal taste and subjectivity to them, but in this case I can't even pretend to be objective. I thought the cinematography and writing were both phenomenal, and those are the two things which matter to me most in a film (perhaps why I'm having such a strong love affair with PTA). I loved the soundtrack which I thought really helped put you in Egan's drastically distorted shoes. I thought Adam Sandler was incredible in this oddly intimate reversal of some of his traditional roles.

But at the same time I can understand not enjoying any of those things for a variety of reasons. I read some negative reviews before writing this and I can understand where many of them are coming from. Ultimately this movie struck a really strong chord with me and I found the cinematic craft to be some of the finest, but if you can't empathize with the central character your experience will probably go downhill pretty fast. I guess that's true of most movies, but here the barrier to entry is especially pronounced. If you don't think you can relate to Sandler's character then maybe skip this one, but if it sounds like something you can get behind then it might find its way into your favorite films.