106 Min | Comedy | June 2003
IMDB Rating: 6.2
Director: Peter Segal
Starring: Jack Nicholson, Adam Sandler, Marisa Tomei
Anger Management Review: In Anger Management, Dave Buznik (played by Sandler) is a very mild mannered businessman (cat-clothing designer), with a comfortable lifestyle, and a pretty girlfriend. And whether he knows it or not, he also has an anger problem. A severely misunderstood incident during a business flight causes him to be sentenced to anger management treatment, under the direction and supervision of the renowned (and published) Dr. Buddy Rydell (Nicholson) – who seemingly has some problems of his own. The pairing of these two is not a welcome one for Buznik, since he doesn’t see a true problem. But of course, that is what gives the plot its motivation. Someone who doesn’t need (or want) the medicine, but is sentenced to have it forced down his throat… and at times under duress.
Although it leans toward the tradition of the mis-matched buddy flick, which can often times be too predictable, Anger Management has many unique and very funny moments throughout. The differences between what Buznik wants versus what Rydell demands of him often leads Buznik into some very bizarre encounters and experiences. For a guy who seems to have his life in order, misaligned therapy might be the worst thing for him at this point. But not only are the characters mis-matched types, one might think the actors are too. At first thought, whomever conceived the idea of putting Jack Nicholson and Adam Sandler together in a movie would get the word ‘INSANE’ tattooed across his/her forehead, but this match up really works. Nicholson has a broad ability to deliver pretty much whatever type of role is demanded of him. Be it a serious role, or a comedic role, or the role of a crazed lunatic, Nicholson can deliver. His portrayal of Buddy Rydell is no different, in fact it might be a bit of everything he’s ever done.
Adam Sandler on the other hand, has a knack for playing the part of a circus clown in most of his movies. His career, up to just recently were low-end, second-class comedies. However, Sandler is growing up. Punch Drunk Love was a different taste of Sandler that we haven’t quite seen before, and one that was well done for him. But, just when you thought there was some hope for Sandler’s mature talent, Mr. Deeds hits theaters. Not to say there isn’t a place for those types of films, but Sandler is capable of so much more. And he redeems himself in Anger Management. He still delivers comedy and does it well, and he does it with a more mature and serious demeanor. It’s almost as if that during the making of this film, Sandler was feeding off Nicholson’s ‘aura’ of a long-time professional actor and using it to his advantage, while at the same time letting Nicholson play the part of the clown. Nicholson and Sandler on screen together are a perfect duo in this film. Anger Management is definitely recommended viewing.