Punch-drunk love is one of those movies I should definitely hate. First of all, it has a very cheesy and traditional plot wherein the main character is a loser in the beginning and then he transforms into a hero in the end all in the name of love. Its plot is so clichéd already that it can be seen not only in romantic comedy movies, but also in action and horror movies. This makes the movie so hard to watch in the beginning, especially for me since I’m used to watching Adam Sandler giving funny jokes instead of being laughed for being such a loser. But as I sat through the first few minutes, I realized that the may not have a good plot but the movie as a whole is an intriguing one given the combination of weird characters, weird events and the weird way the movie was directed.
Barry Egan is unique character that is seldom seen in movies. He reminded me of how Tyler Durden of Fight Club described men today as a “generation of men raised by women.” Basically, Barry Egan is a very pitiful character. He has a sad social life (if he even has one); he can be bullied by everybody; and he is somewhat lost in his life, that is, before he met Lena, the heroine of the movie. Although the movie does not show much of Lena, we can induce that she’s just as weird as Barry. So the movie is all about how Barry goes through obstacles that hinder him from being with Lena. Along the way, he learns that love conquers all and, as expected, he gets a happy ending in the end. However, this movie’s plotline could never give justice to how the director was able to color the clichéd characters and events into something intriguing.
One of things I like about Punch-drunk Love is the way it made me wonder how Barry and Lena would get their happy ending despite the various nuisances within the film. I mean, it’s kind of obvious that the love story of Barry and Lena would hook up in the end. The only problem for me to figure out is how they would do it given their weird personalities and the even weirder events taking place in Barry’s life. Realistically speaking, the movie is absurd given that it’s supposed to take place in a context that is not very far from ours today. And I think the characters are really stupid. They’re grownups but they’re acting like kids, especially Barry. He’s such a wimp. Lena’s okay but she’s kind of creepy, which makes it harder for me to imagine how she and Barry would end up together.
In the end, the character got their happy ending in a way that I would never have imagined. Barry freaks out and all of a sudden his problems are solved. Even though I consider this movie as a stupid one, I still can’t deny the fact that it is entertaining. As a matter of fact, I really hated myself when I realized that I was actually touched with Barry and Lena’s love story no matter how absurd it is. But then again, it’s just a movie. It doesn’t have to be real.