Pictures presents a film directed by Peter Segal. Written
by David Dorfman. Running time: 101 minutes. Rated PG-13
(on appeal for crude sexual content and language). Starring
Adam Sandler, Jack Nicholson, Marisa Tomei, John Turturro.
you love Adam Sandler, stop reading this review. I mean, like,
now. Close your browser and rush out to a theater playing
Anger Management, because it's exactly what you want.
else, hang on a second. Don't close your browser and rush
out to a theater playing Anger Management, because
it's exactly what Adam Sandler fans want. And that means an
uneven comedy filled to the brim with sexual innuendo, flatuence,
comedy violence, and even a long-running big dick joke.
Anger Management is a little bit better than the average
Adam Sandler movie. Not because the writing is that much better
(well...it's better than the-so-bad-not-even-Sandler-fans-liked-it
Little Nicky), or that Sandler has improved. No, it's
because of - who else? - Jack Nicholson. Certainly, other
actors could have pulled this off, but no one can play insane
better than Nicholson. He cocks his eyebrows and he's instantly
nuts. He adds a much-needed freshness to the otherwise standard
is Dave Buznik, a mild-mannered office worker. But after a
series of contrived events, Dave is forced to undergo anger
management classes with Buddy Rydell (Nicholson), who could
very well be unbalanced. And then...well, that's it.
a promising premise for a thirty minute short, but for a 100
minute feature, the comedy is spread really thin. There are
moments in Anger Management that are very funny (Nicholson
forcing Sandler to sing "I Feel Pretty" on the side
of the Brooklyn Bridge is a standout), but all too often the
humor is overly familiar. And the film mistakingly tries to
humanize Dave by giving him an adorable girlfriend (Marisa
Tomei, who is far too good for this kind of thing) and problems
displaying affection in public, but the only thing this does
is provide an underdeveloped and uninteresting sidestory.
series of events that lead up to Dave's indictment are ridiculous.
The first time we know something is off is when we first meet
Buddy. He is sitting next to Dave, laughing his ass off at
the in-flight movie - Tomcats. No living person in
the world enjoyed Tomcats. But that's just the
start. Dave asks for headphones, and, after doing absolutely
nothing wrong, Dave is subdued and arrested by the Air Marshall
aboard the plane. Now, the finale, of course, explains why
everything is so contrived (except why Buddy liked Tomcats
- that's a question that will never be answered), but it is
unbelievably stupid, even for the type of movie it's in.
in every other one of his movies, Sandler feels the need to
show off just how many people he knows. Some of the numerous
cameos work, specifically the ones with respected actors (Woody
Harrelson, John C. Reilly), and I admit to being amused by
John McEnroe's brief appearance, but everyone else draws undue
attention to him (or her) self. Rudy Giuliani's appearance
in the film's climax (which was cliché before Sandler
was born) is so bad I was embarrassed to be watching it.
any Sandler fans still reading? If so, you see what I mean,
it's exactly what you want. In fact, it could be his best
movie (not counting Punch-Drunk Love, which wasn't
really a "Sandler" movie) in several years. But
for everyone else, you'd be better off renting Anger Management
when you want something simple and forgettable to watch.
2003 Matt Noller