Punch-Drunk Love is a romantic comedy ? but it was made by Paul Thomas Anderson. The most surprising element - after the complex Magnolia and the ambitious Boogie Nights - is Anderson's decision to cast the American comic Adam Sandler as protagonist. Alongside Sandler, Emily Watson and Philip Seymour Hoffman, the cast is largely made up of non-professional actors.The gentle Barry Egan (Adam Sandler) is a hard working manager of a storage warehouse in the far?from?scintillating San Fernando Valley. He spends his spare time trying to get hold of a million free air miles for a small investment. Back home he is mothered by his seven sisters, which provides an adequate explanation for his spontaneous mood swings, during one of which he takes it out on a glass door. Barry blossoms when he meets the English Lena (Emily Watson). But then a couple of crooks want to blackmail him after an attempt at phone sex, and threaten to disrupt his newly found chance of happiness.
Punch-Drunk Love, a beautiful story about love, revenge and justice, is shot with the technical bravura typical of Anderson and cameraman Elswit. The film (Golden Palm for the best directing) is very suitable for a mass audience and is also very topical with its meticulously dosed undertone of social commentary.