Punchline Movie Review Summary

Actors: Tom Hanks, Sally Field, John Goodman, Mark Rydell, Kim Greist

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Punchline

This 1988 film by writer-director David Seltzer (The Omen, Shining Through) depicts the hungry, desperate world of stand-up comics. Steven Gold (Hanks) is a recent med school dropout who works at a New York comedy club called The Gas Station, where the wages are lousy and everyone's looking for that big break. Also moonlighting at The Gas Station is older housewife and mother Lilah Krytsick (Field), whose insurance salesman hubby John (Goodman) is puzzled but reasonably supportive of her desire to make people laugh. Steven ends up coaching Lilah, who doesn't appear to have a lot of talent and tries to buy jokes that will work for her, and ends up attracted to her, needy guy that he is. Despite some terrific acting by Hanks, especially when he has a near breakdown on stage, the script here (particularly for the critical comedy acts themselves) is undependable, and the ending a bit pat.
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The review of this Movie prepared by David Loftus

Script Analysis of Punchline

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Plot & Themes

Time/era of movie:    -   1980's-1999 Getting ahead in:    -   entertainment world Job/Profession/Poverty Story?    -   Yes Job:    -   performer or comedian Poverty story?    -   Yes

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   comedian Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White American Unusual characteristics:    -   Super sensitive soggy jelly muffin


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Northeast City?    -   Yes City:    -   New York Misc setting    -   theater    -   bar

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   no torture/death Any profanity?    -   Some foul language

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