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Anger Management
2003 - PG-13 - 89 Mins.
Director: Peter Segal
Producer: Barry Bernardi, Derek Dauchy, Todd Garner, Jack Giarraputo
Written By: Dave Dorfmanm, David Dorfman
Starring: Adam Sandler, Jack Nicholson, Marisa Tomei, John C. Reilly, Heather Graham, John Turturro
Review by: John Ulmer
   
It's funny how buddy movies have transformed over the years. During the eighties there was a supply and demand for cop-buddy films, such as "48 Hrs.," "Red Heat," and even "Turner and Hootch." During the nineties there was a supply and demand for road comedy movies, for the most part. And now there seems to be a supply of Adam Sandler movies, with half-and-half demand. The younger crowds love him, and usually the older hoards of people despise him.

In "Anger Management," Sandler tries his hand at a buddy formula. It works on occassion, is at often times quite humorous, but fails to deliver what I really expected until the last thirty minutes, which finally gets some nice laughs in on a consistent basis.

Sandler plays Dave Buznik, a generally peaceful young man who is flying on business. On the flight, Dave sits next to Buddy Rydell (Jack Nicholson), an obnoxious loudmouth (or so it appears at first glance) who insists that Dave should watch the in-flight movie Buddy himself is watching. Dave asks a flight attendant for a set of headphones, the stewardess starts chatting up a friend, the headphones never come. Dave asks again, and suddenly the stewardess is asking him not to yell. The next thing he knows, he's in an anger management program for assaulting a flight attendant, even though he simply touched her arm to stop her from walking away down the aisle, ignoring him.

Big surprise for Dave when he finds out the anger management program is run by Buddy Rydell, who invites Dave to an anger group, comprised of Chuck (John Turturro), a crazy man who believes everyone hates him, Lou (Luis Guzman), who is gay, and two female lovers.

Dave, who is not angry nor crazy, starts to think everyone else is, as Buddy moves into his apartment and even follows him to work. This of course gets in the way of his relationship with his girlfriend, Linda (Marisa Tomei), who says they need to have some "time apart." You can expect what happens in the rest of the film.

I was disappointed in this film overall. The first thirty minutes were painfully unfunny and predictable. The end somewhat redeems itself, but still doesn't make the film as great as it could have been given the potential.

The cast is stellar, ranging from Nicholson to Kevin Nealon to an uncredited cameo by Heather Graham. I found it humorous that most of the cast has been in P.T. Anderson's films: Heather Graham, Luis Guzman, and Adam Sandler have all been in at least one of Anderson's films.

But a great cast cannot always save a movie, and though "Anger Management" has a lot going for it, the film itself fails to go where it should. I actually DO like Adam Sandler, but this movie was unfortunately just so-so and nothing more.
 
Movie Guru Rating
Below Average.  Mediocre. Has substantial flaws, but is watchable. Below Average.  Mediocre. Has substantial flaws, but is watchable. Below Average.  Mediocre. Has substantial flaws, but is watchable.
  2.5 out of 5 stars

 
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