PUNCH-DRUNK LOVEUnited States-2002

Adam Sandler as Barry Egan

Emily Watson as Lena Leonard

Luis Guzman as Lance

Philip Seymour Hoffman as Dean Trumbell

Written and Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson

Have you ever been in love? Have you ever felt what it’s like to have love truly wrap its arms around you and squeeze the life out of you? I’m here to tell you that I have been in love. I am here to tell you that I am indeed in love. I am in love with the greatest woman on the planet. She is my lover, she is my confidant, she is my muse, my inspiration and she is my all-time greatest friend. Above all these things she is my wife. That last thing alone is the hardest job on the planet. I am by no means an easy man to love. I am temperamental, I am angry and at times I am a complete and utter with a capital ‘A’ asshole. But before I met my wife I was a lonely man. I would go to the movies and I would see all these people holding hands and looking into each other’s eyes and I would be so damned jealous. I wanted that so badly but there was that one thing that held me back and that one thing was me.  I allowed myself to believe that there was no way anyone would love me. There was no way anyone would want to be with me. Me? I’m too fucking weird to be loved. I’m too fucking angry to be loved. Who in their right mind would want to love a guy like me? The answer is very simple. My wife, that’s who.

I love Punch-Drunk Love for one very simple reason; I can identify one hundred per cent with the character of Barry Egan. Barry is an emotional wreck of a man who is letting everyone hold him back from the one thing that he has always wanted but has never had: true love. But then one day Barry meets Lena and all bets are off. Nothing is going to stop Barry Egan from finding love. Not family, not work, not phone sex, nothing. I love this movie undeniably and unconditionally. I believe it is one of the greatest love stories ever filmed and I believe it is inarguably the best performance of Adam Sandler’s career. Punch-Drunk Love is not a conventional love story by any means. It is a love story that only Paul Thomas Anderson could tell and he tells it with a style that is one hundred per cent his own.

So, on this most romantic of all days I want you to take your lover by the hand and I want you to look deep into their eyes and I want you to say ‘That’s very food.’

From all of me here at Written in Blood, Happy Valentine’s Day.


The film was inspired by an article in ‘Time’ magazine about David Phillips, a University of California civil engineer who stumbled upon a lucrative frequent-flyer promotion. By purchasing 12,150 cups of Healthy Choice pudding for just $3,000, he accumulated 1.25 million air-miles.

During the scene where Barry is at the supermarket looking for the cheapest Healthy Choice food item, he is being followed by an out-of-focus character in a red outfit. It’sEmily Watson’s character, before they’ve been introduced.

When Barry says, “That’s very food,” it was actually just a typo that the director decided to keep.