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Punchline

By Marshall Fine

At the height of the standup-comedy boom of the 1980s, this film offered the revelation that many comedians were, in fact, rather psychologically unstable individuals for whom performing was an outlet for hostility and aggression. Wow--who would have guessed? This film focuses on two who meet and forge an unlikely friendship: Tom Hanks plays a caustic, self-destructive comic looking for his big break and Sally Field plays a more Roseannelike comedian who begins neglecting her husband (John Goodman) and children because she gets such a kick out of performing. The offstage stuff is strictly soap opera, but Hanks and Field both develop solid comedic rhythms once they get behind a microphone.

 

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FILM FACTS

Buy this VHS movie from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Buy this DVD from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Soundtrack unavailable at Amazon.com - try eBay (see links below)Rated RNot on an American Film Institute 100 list

Director: David Seltzer

Stars: Sally Field, Tom Hanks, John Goodman, Mark Rydell, Kim Geist, Paul Mazursky, Angel Salazar, Damon Wayans

Released: October 7, 1988

Availability: DVD VHS


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