Punch-Drunk Love

Punch-Drunk Love ★★★★★

When I was 17 or 18 I was eating lunch at this place called New York Subs (now closed) and I ordered my sandwich and sat down in front of this man (who I later learned was my parents' dentist, incidentally) who was by himself waiting on his food. When the waitress came by to bring him his order, I heard her ask him about the crossword puzzle he was doing. "Yeah, I find it's a lot easier to do the longer words first, then you can kind of work your way out from there. But sometimes I just can't solve the longer ones, and the shorter ones can help with those." There was something about this exchange that was inexplicably heartbreaking, so much so that it's stuck in my brain almost ten years later. Punch-Drunk Love conveys a lot of different things very well, but it's the only movie I've ever seen that captures how I felt listening to that guy talk about his crossword puzzle. I think he might be dead now.

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