There has always been a strange sense of sweetness to the insanity of Adam Sander, and director Paul Thomas Anderson knows exactly how to utilize the actor’s vulnerability in this masterpiece. Sandler gives a brilliant performance as a quietly tortured individual who is incapable of interacting with others without looking like a fool. He has outrageous breakdowns in public that dangerously dance the line between hysterical and tragic. Yes, it’s ridiculous to break the windows of his sister’s home, but we develop an understanding of his pain. He’s destructive, yet he’s harmless. Barry Egan, Sandler’s character, finds himself struggling to have intimate contact with human beings, suffocated by his seven sisters and his monotonous job as a plunger salesman. He tries to end his quest for love with a phone sex hotline, but this results in a messy situation that gets him into trouble when he finds true love with Lena Leonard, played by Emily Watson. What makes the story so poignant is its insertion of a naïve innocent character into an adult situation, and how he solves the crisis is moving. The romance in this film between Sandler and Watson is powerful because it is innocent without being cliché. This “romantic comedy” transcends its own genre with its eccentricities and mastery of aesthetics. The film’s cinematography is exquisite, and the music helps to establish the offbeat mood of this film.