Punching the Clown

Released 2010


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Movie Summary

Keely Christian
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Winner of the Audience Award at the 2009 Slamdance Film Festival, this sharp new comedy tells the story of Henry Phillips, a hapless modern day troubadour who grinds his way through the heartland, living out of his car and singing his twisted satirical songs to anyone who will listen. After a booking mishap involving a Christian fundraiser, he decides he's hit rock bottom. Seeking to shake things up, he moves to L.A. where his luck changes overnight. Thanks less to his inept manager than to a wild case of mistaken identity, he falls backwards into a string of packed gigs, a record deal and even the promise of love. But he who lives by the whimsy of show business dies by it, and reality hits him like a fist in the face: an innocent miscommunication over a bagel starts a vicious rumor about him in the tabloids. Luckily, somewhere between rock bottom and the middle of nowhere lies the perfect terrain for his dark and hilarious songs.moreless


Metacritic Score

  • 70

    The Hollywood Reporter Frank Scheck

    Although its sendup of L.A.'s shallow, self-absorbed show business culture is not exactly revelatory, the film does deliver solid laughs, many of them thanks to Philips' wittily pr...

  • 60

    The New York Times Mike Hale

    Holding things together are Mr. Phillips's quiet charm and his songs, which really are funny.

  • 60

    New York Daily News Elizabeth Weitzman

    Every aspiring performer will appreciate Gregori Viens' unassuming comedy, which cheerfully skewers industry pretensions and media-fueled trends.

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