Punchline 1988 (1988) Other movies recommended for you
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Plot: Steven Gold is a stand-up comedian who is flat broke and has recently dropped out of medical school. He and several others work regularly at the Gas Station, a New York comedy club. The ... Runtime: 128 mins Release Date: 07 Oct 1988
Making People Laugh Will Cost You Dearly!!!! (by dataconflossmoor)
So much for my family, my kids, my sanity, and my discretionary money, what little of it I have...I want to tell jokes!!!...This bittersweet relationship between Tom Hanks and Sally Field has husband, John Goodman, totally perplexed...The nightclubs, the fast food, the partial housewife thing, the spending money on jokes..None of this makes any sense for a struggling married couple..Yet somehow, Sally Field must find herself..."Be supportive of my quirkiness!!"This was a precarious instinct that Sally Field felt compelled to necessitate!! The film "Punchline" spends most <more>
of the time making personality confusion the culprit to domestic shaky grounds, but in the end, it shows how Sally Field can be a good wife, a good mother and yet express a part of herself for herself by being a stand-up comic...The challenge stand-up comedy represents by being as painful as Russian roulette with five bullets, plays itself out as a frustrating dilemma that confuses both Tom Hanks and Sally Field!!!!...What was finally attainable in both their lives was recognition at a humanistic level...What is seemingly unacceptable to the run of the mill rational person, as opposed to a stand-up comic, is that there is no comprehension of the fact that a stand-up comic views the ability to make people laugh as one of the most coveted qualities in the world!! To be funny is more rewarding than wealth, power, and/or a wonderful physical appearance!!! Stand-Up Comedy is not necessarily a lucrative talent, and you do not have to constantly make people laugh, but when Sally Field won the contest that night, it meant she had the ability to be a stand-up comic,,this was important to her!!!! The desire Sally Field had to tell jokes at various New York nightclubs, transcended selfishness, and merely pointed out that having a family and a husband does not mean your life stops totally!!..Bottom line, if Sally Field were on trial for negligence and self centered preoccupation, she would have been acquitted!! Ultimately what gave her stand-up comic hobby a sense of gratification was the emerging approval and encouragement of her family!! The "Singin in the Rain" scene that Tom Hanks performed was FABULOUS!!! as this film just oozes with talent...This movie is identical to the plot of this movie...BEING DIFFERENT IS BETTER...JUST ASK SOMEONE WHO OWNS A ROLLS ROYCE!!!!
This is a wonderful movie. Every time I see it on cable I'm reminded how well-crafted it is. The writing is solid, the characters are real, and the desperate world of the stand up comic, whose life is nothing without the laughter, is captured very well.Anyone who's worked professionally in comedy knows that comics are, as a rule, not happy people. Look at Jim Carrey or Woody Allen when they aren't in front of a camera and you'll see real pain in their eyes, just below the surface. Tom Hanks, as Steven Gold, captures that kind of character perfectly.This was the performance <more>
that marked the turning point for Tom Hanks. There would be no oscars for him if it weren't for Punchline, because this was the movie that proved he could flip between comedy and heartfelt drama on a dime.Sally Field does very well, and John Goodman gives one of his best performances ever.
I'm Ready To Answer That Question Now!! (by dataconflossmoor-1)
This film was made in 1988, that happened to be the best year of my life. Why? I became totally satisfied with all the decisions I made, I loved being a reckless bachelor, and everyone around me seemed to be happy! Nationally speaking, in 1988, we were not at war, our economy was great, and a Republican was in the White House. Invariably, our checks and balances sheet gets bonus points when our economy is booming during a Republican administration. When Democrats are in the White House during a good economy, it is as if their implemented economic plans are a necessary evil. Republican's <more>
phraseology during a good economy under their watch is one of "Rugged Individualist Spirit" which basically becomes a euphemistic phrase for "Our policies are a luxury our nation can actually afford". What does this long dissertation have to do with this movie? Mostly the fact that it reflected our cop-aesthetic disposition as a nation during this period in time 1980's . In 1988, the camaraderie everybody shared with each other was due to the fact that they were all happy. The movie "Punchline" evoked a plight of "We are all happy, except!" "Except what?" "Except for the fact that I want to tell jokes" Tom Hanks and Sally Field are an unbeatable combination of acting talent that unearth a bevy of identifiable human frailties. For Sally Field's character, this was the question that she was finally ready to answer now; "You have a happy home and a wonderful family, why is it so important for you to be funny?" The answer,"I must express a part of myself that is me". "Indeed, such a craving is so important to me that it is as addictive as any harmful drug." The fact is, making people laugh is like a gambling addiction, alcoholism, smoking whatever, cocaine, or even investing good money after bad in a go nowhere business venture. Drugs and alcohol are for a kick! Investing money in a failing business venture is for purposes of hoping against hope that you will turn everything around and make huge profits! Telling jokes and being funny are all in the anxious anticipation that you will receive an unprecedented individualistic gratification!! This movie depicts whereby for a lot of people, a huge part of them believes that often times, nothing is more important to them than to make somebody genuinely laugh at something they say which is genuinely funny! When they hit a snag and gravitate to a very lackluster sense of humor, which may be as a result of the fact that they are having a run of bad luck with their witty spontaneity, it begins to drive them crazy. Somehow, just like an addiction to drugs and alcohol, making someone laugh is the most important thing in their lives! When this movie was made, Sally Field was 42 years old, this is an age where you begin to engage in soul searching. When I was 42, I lost my job, subsequently, I have yet to get a real one ever since. Your 40's is when your perspective changes and your priorities become increasingly more flippant and philosophical about the regimented and structured criterion which you have been living by! Now is the time for your middle aged fortitude to focus on attitudinal values which are a little more spiritually rewarding. The fact that this movie did not receive critical acclaim, and was downgraded for it's transparent mediocrity, is no surprise to me! This is seemingly appropriate that the academy would not recognize the lethal emphasis on how rewarding the penchant for making people laugh really is to many alternative individuals! So critics not liking this movie too much did not mean that they were wrong! In fact, it almost went in sync with the fact that any rational person cannot fathom that the intensely obsessive urge is to make someone laugh can almost be categorized as a debilitating disease! It can be though, believe me! Tom Hanks is fantastic in this movie, that "Singin in the Rain" score he performs is tremendously authentic!! Here is the gist of this movie from my angle, your average comedian is just a tad unusual, for that matter, so is owning a yacht!! The most appropriate assessment of this film, I liked it, and that is all that matters, or let me put it another way, IT WAS FUNNY!! That's everything, remember! Think of it this way; What can I get you to make you and addict? Crack? Crystal Meth? 100 proof whiskey? Laughter?!!
My father is a stand-up comic, and all I can say is that this film above most others shows comedians for what they truly are. Comedy is truly based out of pain, and the two main characters truly have a great deal of pain in their lives. All the actors give their performances more than two dimensions, and are truthful in what they are dong at all times. If your looking for a laugh out loud comedy, than you'll be greatly disappointed, this film is really about he drama of the life of people who are trying to make it in the entertainment business. As a closing statement, i have heard many <more>
comics who were around at the time of this picture say that Tom Hanks was one of the greatest comics that they had seen, and if he had not caught the acting bug first, that he would have been a great comic.
If you want to be a stand up comic -- watch this movie! (by larrysmile1)
Being a "stand up" comic is the highest form of live comedy. Scripted television "situation" comedies on video tape with laugh tracks is not comedy. Those are what this reviewer calls, "contrived comedy with cue cards." If you want to be a stand up comic then watch this movie over and over again, because, as Tom Hanks, you will need to devote your every energy into developing and testing comedic materials. That means being on stage before a live audience -- night after night after night for little or no money rewards until you become "discovered."This <more>
is the main theme of "Punchline." Tom Hanks starts out trying to become a doctor -- what his doctor father wants but not what his character Steven Gold wants. He flunks out of medical school and continues to devote every night to performing stand up routines at The Gas Station for $15.00 a set. Nurtured on or rather taken advantage of by Mark Rydell Romeo the owner and Master of Ceremonies of The Gas Station, we see how neurotic and uncertain the life of a comic really is, before Steven gets discovered and wins a contest to appear on the Johnny Carson Show. The second story within this film is of 42 year old Sally Field, a housewife from New Jersey with three girls. She is married to 36 year old John Goodman a traditional insurance salesman who cannot understand, at first, why his wife Lilah Krytsick is attracted to the comedy stage. Lilah has always wanted to make people laugh and admits to being the "class clown" when in school. She's compelled to perform in New York at The Gas Station after husband John comes home at the standard hour and watches the kids. Her night activity is putting a wedge in their mature marriage.To show how stand up comedy really is, the movie employs a number of real comedians to perform portions of comedy routines at The Gas Station. They are sort of the "house comedians" coming there night after night to test and refine their routines on-stage. Showing their individual lives helps to define what a comedian really is.Of course, a subplot is that the medical school wash out Steven Gold who is supposed to be about 25 years old Tom Hanks was actually 32 years old thinks he's in love with the mature Lilah -- mother of three! She's only interested in Steven as a mentor and comedy friend, however, because she loves her husband, John, and her three daughters.Sally Field does very fine comedic routines about her life as a housewife married to "a Polish man." As Steven helps her to develop her inner comedy heart and mind marital sex becomes the basis of her routine. Her routine is actually very funny with such lines as:"This is a high-voltage item, Buffy!""You mean you use one of these things? Go to it, God bless! But, I don't think I want to be intimate with anything that says Panasonic on it!" This brings down the house!Lilah wins the prize but turns the tables and doesn't accept, even though Romeo encourages her to accept telling her that she got three out of the five votes and the "old guy with the gray hair was crazy about you!" Steven wins the Carson spot by default. Such is the life of real comedy. Yes, husband John Krytsick comes around and laughs so hard at Lilah's routine, which is all about husband John anyway, that his laughter roars through the comedy club. Lilah is pleased and they walk away dreaming up new material for Lilah's future comedy routines.Watch for this film on cable TV. It's a solid 8!
I didn't fully appreciate Tom Hanks' brilliance and power as an actor until seeing him in Punchline. He brings tremendous depth and pathos to the role of a gifted aspiring comic suffering from performance anxiety who is seeking to break in to the national limelight.Sally Fields' character as a cohort comedian plays off Hanks beautifully, as she competes for the spotlight while desperately trying to balance her passion for comedy and the irresistible pull of the stage with the demands of homemaking, children, and a less than sympathetic partner.The "punchline" in this <more>
movie has nothing to do with the jokes--be they good or bad.
not surprisingly misunderstood (by leah-macwilliam-1)
A reviewer once complained that "Punchline" commits an unforgivable sin by being an unfunny movie about stand up comics. For anyone who agrees, try looking "irony" up in the dictionary - it's an element that's occasionally used outside of the literary world. The film's deliberately awkward and painful scenes illustrate the point, "Lady, nothing is a joke to me. That's why I'm in comedy. And that's why you're not." The same reviewer made the hilarious claim that comics never tell jokes out of compulsion or denial, but simply because <more>
"they love making other people laugh." newsflash: creative and hysterical people are often highly dysfunctional! :D thank you goodnight!
A Forgotten Gem in the Career of Tom Hanks... (by Isaac5855)
One of the best and also most overlooked films of Tom Hanks'career was the 1988 comedy PUNCHLINE, in which Hanks plays Steven Gold, a struggling stand up comedian who uses his comedy to work out his own inner demons, a lot of which stem from his childhood and his twisted and unresolved relationship with his father. Hanks walks the fine line of comedy and tragedy so effectively in this movie. One scene where he is excited to perform because a big agent is in the audience and is shattered when he learns it's really his father out there and he literally has a breakdown onstage is <more>
absolutely heartbreaking. He is also laugh out loud funny when he performs a stand up routine for a group of patients at a Brooklyn hospital and then two minutes later is looking at the chart of a terminally ill child. Steven Gold is a character so desperate to be loved that he thinks himself into believing that he is in love with a married woman Sally Field who also wants to do stand-up. Another great scene is when he pours his heart out to her and when she rejects him, he storms out in the rain and starts out doing Gene Kelly, but the dance in the rain turns into a brief descent into madness. Standup comics, for the most part, are not happy people, and Hanks conveys this so beautifully in this film. His final set at the film's climax reeks of his brilliance and he gets strong support from Field and John Goodman as Field's husband. If you somehow missed this early sleeper in Hanks' career, check it out.. definitely worth renting and repeated viewings.
Tom Hanks performs the "Singing in the Rain" umbrella/street dance number like you'd never imagine it could be. I loved him in this movie. Probably more than the vast majority of his others. His portrayal of an emotionally tormented and lost young man blessed with a tremendous and natural talent for comedy - dark as it may be - broke my heart. I wasn't crazy about Sally Fields as his leading lady - the match up just didn't work for me. But as individuals they were both excellent.I would recommend it highly. It's not really a comedy as the title might suggest. It is, <more>
as I said dark, but with some very warm feelings about giving. I gave it an 8