When Adam Sandler collaborated with acclaimed, somewhat enigmatic filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson for the quirky and intelligent 2002 romantic comedy Punch-Drunk Love, highbrow critics scratched their foreheads. At the time, PTA, as cinema buffs like to call him, was the genius behind Boogie Nights (1997) and Magnolia (1998), and Sandler, bless his soul, was known for esteemed motion pictures like Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore, and The Waterboy.
So what gave? Anderson knew what we’d all soon realize: If given a dynamic and complicated role to play, one that’s still in his comedic comfort zone, Sandler can be one hell of an actor. And Punch-Drunk Love, about a businessman (Sandler) who endures seven insufferable sisters while falling in love with an eccentric stranger (Emily Watson), isn’t just the funnyman’s best movie to date—it’s one of the best rom-coms of all time.
Having only made six films in 16 years, the meticulous Anderson isn’t an easy director to coerce, but, considering their past success, it’s not unrealistic to think that the director would jump at the chance to work with Sandler again.
Even better, Anderson is currently in a dark phase—he’s following up the pitch-black 2007 character study There Will be Blood with what seems to be an equally morose play on Scientology, The Master (set for an October release). Imagine what Sandler could do with a role as rich and horrifically magnetic as Daniel Day-Lewis’ in There Will be Blood. As crazy as that sounds, wouldn’t you love the chance to see for yourselves?