Very few people went to see Punch-Drunk Love when it came out in 2002 — the art-house crowd didn’t want to see Adam Sandler in a serious film, and Sandler’s fans didn’t want to see something serious. Yet its stature since then has only grown, as Paul Thomas Anderson took the familiar tropes of Sandler’s comedies and treated them with gravity. The supposedly lovable man-child from Big Daddy and The Waterboy became a guy fundamentally broken inside who could express himself or find happiness only with someone as screwed up as he was.
Lone Star Film Society screens the film this Sunday for its 15th anniversary, and it has any number of things that are worth watching for by themselves: Sandler’s little tap-dance of joy in the supermarket, Jon Brion’s bizarrely moving score, the opening sequence with a harmonium being inexplicably deposited in front of the hero, and the late Philip Seymour Hoffman (well-matched as Sandler’s nemesis here) telling him to shut up over the phone. The violence and madcap hijinks only underscore the touching romance at its center.
Punch-Drunk Love screens at 7pm Sun at Four Day Weekend Theater, 312 Houston St, FW. Tickets are $10. Call 817-924-6000.