punch drunk love

Warning: spoilers herein.

The film is about a nice guy (Adam Sandler), who basically has a mental illness which results in various strange behaviours, one of which is random(ish) violent outbursts. He phones a sex line because he’s lonely and wants to talk to someone but it turns out to be a scam and they try to blackmail him. They threaten him, turn up at his house and beat him up and take money from him. In the meantime he meets a nice girl and falls in love.

The phone sex people eventually end up hurting his girlfriend (in a car crash) and he goes beserk. He beats the guys up driving the car, then tracks down the owner and travels out to tell him to stop messing with him.

And he does, and they live happily ever after.

I make the film sound more trite than it actually is. It’s arguably well done in a lot of ways, it’s not a usual total hollywood prostitution

What I think is so awful about this film is how it portrays some aspects of this guys illness. It seems to suggest that this guy directs his violent outbursts towards the people who are doing him wrong, and saves the day. Like some kind of super hero whose special power is depression.

Now I like to think I’m a relatively nice and calm guy, but if a bunch of phone sex guys rammed my car, hurt my girlfriend and came at me with a crow bar, I’d like to think I would try sort them out. I’d like to think anybody would at least consider it. You don’t need a mental illness to consider this.

Coupled with a few other things, this film seems to portray mental illness really badly in some ways.

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