The 40th annual NY Film Festival (September 27-October 13) in NYC is almost over, but it certainly did not end without a good Saturday night punch! We attended the 11 PM late screening of the new Columbia Pictures/Revolution Studios Adam Sandler film Punch Drunk Love, brought to us by Paul Thomas Anderson (Boogie Nights, Magnolia). You know where you stand with Anderson from the above credits alone, but we really got the full treatment during his drunken introduction to the 11 PM screening (he hadn’t hit the bar yet during the 8 PM intro).
Before the show, we could barely get a cold Corona (cats didn’t even have bottle openers) but we settled for the corner of the counter top to open the warm beers. The only plus about the warm beer moment was that Tom Petty was standing right next to us at the bar. There is really nothing else to say about this. A Tom Petty sighting speaks for itself – and did he have an American girl with him? Yes, he did! We grabbed two seats next to Julia Roberts, who was standing nearby talking to the president of Revolution Studios, Joe Roth, about one of his projects that Julia is currently filming in Boston. When they were through, we were talking to Joe about one of his films that we are currently providing marketing for that’s due out in March. Kirsten Dunst walked by – looking, not like a Virgin Suicide sister, but rather dressed like someone from Eau Claire, WI, with those boots.
Down to the screening and took our seats in front of Conan O’ Brian. PT Anderson introduced the cast and Adam Sandler introduced the film. Adam was introduced as Stan and Judy’s daughter. He came out and said that his parents always dreamed of him singing in Lincoln Center – so he sang two lines.
The film is visually unreal. The backdrops to this strange tale are quite stunning and effective. There is a lot of observational wit that Anderson has brought so much of to his other work. One scene shows Adam Sandler’s character, a socially impaired owner of a small novelty plunger business, alone with the woman (Emily Watson) he has been set up with and they are kissing. We look over their shoulder to an airport tarmac in the background from the hotel room. Or the supermarket shopping scenes where we are literally taken down the across the aisles of this market on more than one occasion. Anderson sticks to some of his favorites by casting Anderson alumni Phillip Seymour Hoffman (perfect in this) and Luis Guzman.
It’s billed as a comedy, but don’t look for the Wedding Singer or the Waterboy in this strange tale. Look for a troubled romantic who has his emotions caught between lust and uncontrollable rage. Anderson received the best director at the 2002 Canes film festival.
The film opens on 10/11 (CHECK it out)