Today I decided to go outside of the box a little, because my recommendation for the Free Flick of The Day is going to require a little homework, and what I mean by that is that after you head on over to SlashControl to watch Punchline, a 1988 dramedy about a housewife breaking into stand-up comedy, I'm going to recommend you watch Judd Apatow's Funny People and do a little contrast and compare...because if my education in the arts taught me anything, it's that it is all about the contrast and compare.

Punchline was directed by David Seltzer, writer of films like The Omen and Lucas, (which he also directed), and starred Sally Field as a housewife with a gift for comedy who makes a run for the stand-up clubs where she meets a slightly manic med student/comedian (played by Tom Hanks) and the two become friends and eventually competitors. I've always found the business of comedy fascinating, and both Funny People and Punchline played the angle that the funniest guy in the room is usually the saddest -- which isn't always great for audience enjoyment. People tend to want movies about comedians to be funny -- it sounds funny to say, but it's true. But when you walk away from the theater not laughing and you didn't even like the people you just spent the last two hours with, it's hard to say you had a great night at the movies.


Fast forward 21 years and similar complaints from critics about Punchline were directed towards Apatow's love letter to comedy with Adam Sandler as a selfish and successful comedian covers similar ground but from a softer point of view towards the business. In Apatow's world, you may screw up the rest of your life, but in the end, a good joke can save just about anybody -- even a self-involved jerk or a mousy housewife.

Head over to SlashControl to watch Punch Line for free...