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Anger Management /

Rated: PG-13
Starring: Adam Sandler, Jack Nicholson, Krista Allen, Marisa Tomei, Allen Covert
Directed by: Peter Segal
Produced by: Barry Bernardi, Derek Dauchy, Todd Garner, Jack Giarraputo
Written by: Dave Dorfman, David Dorfman

Distributor: Sony Pictures


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Movie Image
Movie Image

    Adam Sandler is a funny guy, and by funny I don’t just mean comically talented, but naturally amusing as well. Whether his abilities are put to good use or not, is usually determined by the script he’s working with. He hits and he misses. Unfortunately, Anger Management is a miss. However, Sandler is entertaining, and his co-star Jack Nicholson is hilarious. This is a duo of extreme chemistry, due to clashing personalities. But, sadly, the screenplay for Anger Management isn’t anywhere near healthy. It has well-written ideas, but is never able to expand off of them. And as every Sandler film of this type, Anger Management uses clichéd, and disgusting “big dick” jokes. Watching the film, I felt as though I was viewing a rough draft, and not the final product. This flick, I will admit, has true potential—potential it wasn’t able to turn into success.

     Dave Buznik (Sandler) is an average guy, with an average job, and an average life. He has been with the same company for years, and is looking for an upcoming promotion. Currently, he is working on a clothing line for obese cats (when I said an average job, I meant average paying). Anger Management begins with Dave, hopping aboard a plane, traveling to a business function. When on the plane, he finds himself sitting next to an extremely odd man, named Buddy Rydell (Nicholson). After a tough work week, all Dave wants is to get some rest, on the plane ride. But, Buddy keeps interrupting his sleep, when laughing at the in-flight movie. Buddy annoyingly urges Dave to watch the film. In order to do so, he will need a headset. Dave politely asks the flight attendant to bring him one. After she ignores him thrice before, and he asks her for a headset a fourth time, she erupts in madness. The flight attendant tells him that he is being a crazed, angry nut (even though he is a lot calmer about the situation than she). She commands the pilot turn the plane around, and that Dave is arrested for physically and verbally assaulting her, once on the ground. In court, he is wrongly sentenced to anger management.

     He enters the anger management program, days later, and discovers that his teacher is the same man who sat next to him on the plane. If that isn’t enough, his class is full of crazed, angry lunatics. Just being in the presence of these people drives Dave insane. He is getting angry, because of his anger management class, and not the other way around. Buddy is led to believe that Dave is an enraged, hateful individual, even though his cranky attitude is being driven by him and his mentally ill bunch of patients. He recommends that the court extend Dave’s anger management sentence. The judge grants this request. Unexpectedly, Buddy decides to move in with Dave, and takes part in his personal life. If Dave does not comply with all of Buddy’s orders, during this time, he will be sent to state prison for one year. Dave uneasily abides by Buddy’s rules, and lets Buddy live with him, even though he is always tempted to stand up to his so-called therapist.

     Although, as a whole, Anger Management isn’t anywhere near passing, Nicholson and Sandler’s performances are a riot. Sandler is a marketing genius, as well as an excellent comedian, but he needs to learn to pick better scripts. Many critics would say that he should take a stab at more roles like the one he had in Punch Drunk Love. Even though he was excellent in that treat of a movie, I don’t think that Adam Sandler would be Adam Sandler without his trademarked poo-poo-gah-gah humor. I would like to see the side of him I experienced in his animated debut 8 Crazy Nights again; comical but not overblown. Even though he has the lead role in Anger Management, Nicholson’s performance is the one to rave about. His facial expressions, gestures, and various tones of voice are witty and hysterical. Similar to Bringing Down the House, Anger Management proves that great performances can make a brutal script, tolerable.

     Anger Management has its moments, but never expands on its comedy, proving it an utter waste of time. If you must see it, I would recommend waiting for a ninety-nine cent, Blockbuster rental. Sandler and Nicholson do have chemistry, and are pleasing to watch onscreen, but the film is lacking in content. At times, I wanted to close my eyes. At others, I was laughing my guts out. My liking of Anger Management changed on a minute-to-minute basis. There are sketches that tickle your funny bone, but the movie on the whole, can’t do much more than that. If it were to have a feel for its comedy, and was better edited, Anger Management might’ve been able to receive a passing grade. But, as it stands, this film is just one of a million forgettable works, intended for the mainstream audience.

-Danny, Bucket Reviews

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