Best of Netflix is a weekly feature where we profile a movie on Netflix’s “Watch Instantly” list, so you can watch it while you procrastinate doing that horrifically boring required reading for your class tomorrow. YOU’RE WELCOME.
I’m not going to sit here and try to convince you that Adam Sandler is a good actor, but in the myriad sewing circles who are surely ripping on the aforementioned troubador for his horrendous involvement in movies such as Grown Ups and Don’t Mess With The Zohan, I’d like it if there were at least a lone Adam Sandler apologist who could bring up Punch-Drunk Love to save the guy a little bit of face. Punch-Drunk Love is one of PT Anderson’s best directorial efforts, and for someone who has made movies as entertaining as Boogie Nights and There Will Be Blood, that’s really a testament to the movie itself.
It’s about an Asperger-ed up Adam Sandler who meets a girl, but can’t keep his act together long enough to get with her, which is different from something like The Wedding Singer, because of how deeply the movie dives into Sandler’s perspective. He feels extremely claustrophobic the minute any part of his routine gets messed up, and Anderson’s brilliant sound design makes us feel the same way. I felt legitimately uncomfortable with the sounds and the lights when I watched this movie the first time, but it just made the ending all the better, so stick with it if not for the ending, then for Phillip Seymour Hoffman yelling funny things into a phone. That’s always enjoyable.
Speaking of phone-related comedy, this movie also has a great story-thread involving phone sex hotlines. In fact, while this is a pretty dark movie at times, it has plenty of moments which are very funny, as we’ve all come to expect from a good PT Anderson movie. The scene embedded below, Sandler is in bed exchanging sweet nothings with Emily Watson, which actually consist of the violent ways they’d like to murder each other due to their respective levels of cuteness, and it’s probably the most romantic thing I can think of. Either that makes Adam Sandler a capable actor, or it makes me a murderer of cute animals, and I leave it up to the reader to determine which is true for themselves.