Punchline (1988)

Genres - Comedy Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Showbiz Drama, Psychological Drama  |   Release Date - Sep 30, 1988 (USA)  |   Run Time - 122 min.  |   Countries - USA  |   MPAA Rating - R
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Sally Field goes the Roseanne route in Punchline. Field plays a housewife and mother who suddenly develops the urge to be a comedienne. Her comic instincts are on target, but her timing and delivery stinks. Tom Hanks, a stand-up comic with a few years' experience under his belt, offers to teach Field the ropes. As they get to know each other, Hanks and Field begin to pick up on each other's shortcomings; though Hanks has far more talent than Field, for example, he has a positively ruinous habit of expressing his deep-down dislike of everyone else in the world, and this frequently alienates his audience. Writer-director David Seltzer times Punchline like a good joke; he continually sets up for the expected, then pulls a last-minute fast one, keeping the film lively and unpredictable throughout. The supporting cast, coincidentally including future Roseanne star John Goodman, is uniformly superb.

Characteristics

Moods

Keywords

anger, comedian, husband, mentor, stand-up-comedy, talent, self-destruction

Attributes

Sleeper