Punchline (1988)

R   |    |  Comedy, Drama, Romance

Punchline (1988) Poster

A medical school dropout and a housewife/mom try to make it as stand-up comedians. They become friends and help each other out at an NYC comedy club.




  • Tom Hanks and Sally Field in Punchline (1988)
  • Tom Hanks in Punchline (1988)
  • Katie Rich in Punchline (1988)
  • Sally Field and Katie Rich in Punchline (1988)
  • Sally Field and Katie Rich in Punchline (1988)
  • Sally Field and Katie Rich in Punchline (1988)

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9 November 2019 | SnoopyStyle
| Tom is no stand-up
Lilah Krytsick (Sally Field) is a middle age New Jersey housewife struggling to do stand-up comedy. Her marriage to husband John (John Goodman) is under stress. Med student Steven Gold (Tom Hanks) is late for his oral exam and gets expelled for cheating on his written exam. He's been spending all his nights doing stand-up. Madeline Urie (Kim Greist) is a talent agent. Romeo is the club owner.

Tom Hanks is no stand-up comic. He's playing one but he's not actually one. It's the difference between getting real laughs and getting extras to laugh on cue. There's a reason why crashing and burning in front of his father is his best set in the movie. On the other hand, Sally Field is great and fits well especially as a bad comic in the beginning. Her life is much funnier than her 'good' jokes. It's also very bittersweet. Luckily, this is her movie more than his. Real comics inevitably complain about the lockers which is beside the point. It's like complaining about the big apartment in Friends. I do like the aborted romance and the conflicted family life. Instead of Hanks, this movie needs a real comic who could sell the stand-up and then hope that the acting will follow. It's a tall order.

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