Watch Punchline

"Dying is easy. Comedy is hard."
  • R
  • 1988
  • 2 hr 8 min
  • 5.9  (9,157)
  • 52

Punchline is a 1988 comedy-drama movie directed by David Seltzer and starring Sally Field, Tom Hanks, and John Goodman. The movie focuses on the world of stand-up comedy and follows the stories of two aspiring comedians, Lilah Krytsick (Sally Field) and Steven Gold (Tom Hanks), as they navigate through the ups and downs of their career in the world of comedy.

Lilah is a housewife who dreams of becoming a successful comedian. She takes classes at a comedy club despite the disapproval of her husband, who thinks she should focus on her family. Lilah gradually grows more confident and becomes determined to succeed, but her lack of experience and fear of rejection hold her back.

Steven, on the other hand, is an experienced comedian struggling to make it big. He works at a comedy club, performing as an opening act for more successful comedians, but dreams of becoming a headliner himself. Steven is cocky and self-assured, but also sensitive and caring. Unlike Lilah, he has had some success in his career but struggles with personal demons, mainly his addiction to alcohol.

As Lilah and Steven cross paths, they form an unlikely bond. Lilah admires Steven's talent and confidence, while Steven sees potential in Lilah's honesty and vulnerability. They start to help each other both on and off stage, with Steven coaching Lilah on her comedic timing and Lilah offering Steven emotional support.

However, their personal struggles and insecurities threaten to derail their dreams. Steven's alcoholism starts to take a toll on his relationships, and Lilah's marriage starts to suffer as a result of her newfound passion for comedy.

As they both prepare for an important audition at a prestigious comedy club, Lilah and Steven must face their fears and overcome their personal obstacles if they want to succeed in the cutthroat world of stand-up comedy.

Punchline is a witty and poignant movie that explores the complexities of the world of stand-up comedy. Sally Field delivers a heartfelt performance as Lilah, portraying her vulnerability and determination with finesse. Tom Hanks, meanwhile, brings his signature charm to the role of Steven, making him both likable and flawed. The chemistry between the two leads is palpable, and their on-screen dynamic is a highlight of the movie.

John Goodman, in a supporting role, delivers a memorable performance as Bob, a fellow comedian and friend of Steven's who provides comic relief and support to the two aspiring comedians. The rest of the cast, including Mark Rydell as the owner of the comedy club, also contributes strong performances.

The movie's script, written by David Seltzer, is both funny and emotionally resonant, exploring themes of friendship, ambition, and the cost of pursuing one's dreams. The movie's depiction of the world of comedy is authentic, with its portrayal of the struggles and sacrifices that comedians make for their craft.

The movie also features notable appearances by real-life comedians, including Damon Wayans, who plays a fellow comedian at the comedy club where Lilah and Steven perform.

Overall, Punchline is a charming and insightful movie about the world of stand-up comedy, anchored by strong performances by its talented cast. It's a must-watch for anyone interested in the art of comedy or looking for a movie that balances humor and heart.

Punchline is a 1988 comedy with a runtime of 2 hours and 8 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.9 and a MetaScore of 52.

Where to Watch Punchline
Punchline is available to watch free on Tubi TV. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Punchline for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    2 hr 8 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    5.9  (9,157)
  • Metascore