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Anger Management (2003)

  Directed by: Peter Segal
Written by: David Dorfman
Starring: Jack Nicholson, Adam Sandler, Marisa Tomei
Links: Anger Management on the IMDb, Official site, Buy on DVD
Genre: Comedy

This movie gets: 5.00 (1 rating) Ranking: not yet ranked (awaiting 2 ratings)

"Not great, but you'll manage" - a review by em_fiction

I'm a fan of Adam Sandler. There's no shame in admitting it. His early crap like Happy Gilmore (1996), Billy Madison (1995) and Bulletproof (1996), in my opinion, are pieces of comedy gold. I mean, my laughs don't get any less harder each time I watch those films. It was sad to see that his later films (with the exceptions of Big Daddy (1999), The Wedding Singer (1998) and the ingenious Punch-Drunk Love (2002)) were absolute pieces of waste. Anger Management holds a promising premise: Jack Nicholson and Adam Sandler in a film about losing your mind — what more could you ask for? Well, a lot more, unfortunately.

Sandler plays Dave, a businessman working for a pet company. Dave is an ordinary guy who's quiet, introverted and rather shy around his affable girlfriend (Marisa Tomei). An incident on an airplane, where he gets unjustly pushed into a misunderstanding, lands him into an anger management program lead by Dr. Buddy Rydell (Nicholson). Dave's patience is really put to the test when Rydell moves in with him for the evaluation, and no one can blame him; Rydell is a very loud, obnoxious, oddball character finding the most bizarre methods to make Dave even more miserable, seemingly for the sake of his "treatment". It almost becomes a little too bizarre, that Dave starts questioning the authenticity behind Rydell's motives.

Nicholson and Sandler are backed by an ongoing list of stars. Amongst them are: John Turturro, who plays a psycho; Heather Graham, who plays a hot psycho; Woody Harrelson, who plays a gender-bending psycho; John C. Reilly who plays a spiritual psycho; Luis Guzmán, who plays a camp psycho and a handful of Sandler favourites (Allen Covert, Jonathon Loughran, Kevin Nealon) who also play, more or less, psychotic characters. As much as you'd hope for a film with a bunch of psychos played by big-name stars to be a enjoyable romp, it still manages to not be so great.

Anger Management has its moments, but it certainly doesn't do justice for the leads, particularly Sandler who's proven himself to be an adept actor in Punch-Drunk Love. Most of the humour is decent, enough for an easy smile, but it lacks that certain essence which makes quality humour. The jokes don't stand out from anything else; the lack of originality just makes the film lose its grip. You might giggle every now and then but you're likely to forget all about it not so long afterwards. As much as I wanted to like it, I just wasn't able to say "I really enjoyed that". If you're really bored and it's the only film available, then it should be okay. Don't expect too much and you might even enjoy it more than I did.

em_fiction gives this movie 5 out of 10.
Review created on Fri 16 Apr 2004

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Reader comments

  1. you suck.

    A comment from michael nguyen on Fri 16 Apr 2004 18:06 #

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