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Overall Rating

Awesome: 9.38%
Worth A Look: 21.09%
Average: 17.97%
Pretty Bad: 18.75%
Total Crap32.81%

7 reviews, 86 user ratings

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Anger Management
[] Buy posters from this movie
by Erik Childress

"A Star Pairing Thatís Worth the Hype"
4 stars

Sometimes creativity in Hollywood is defined by getting two moviestars to team up for a high-concept tentpole picture. The rate of percentage of it clicking is hardly a concern of the executives counting their money. Audiences are normally so hypnotized by a pair of big names sharing the same space that they hand over their money without even thinking as if coming to see a bunch of deceased ballplayers in Iowa. Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts couldnít do it with THE MEXICAN. Sandra Bullock and Hugh Grant failed to elevate a standard script in TWO WEEKS NOTICE. Now, Adam Sandler and Jack Nicholson give it a shot. Gimmick casting, maybe. But with Nicholson returning to full-on Jack mode after ABOUT SCHMIDT and Sandler coming off his acclaimed turn in PUNCH-DRUNK LOVE, audiences finally have something with which they can use the standard ďa fun night at the moviesĒ phrasing. Because thatís precisely what Anger Management is.

Continuing the trend explored by Paul Thomas Andersonís whimsical romance, Sandlerís penchant for characters with a punchy streak gets the straight man treatment here. As Dave Buznik, Sandler restrains himself into a meager man who is pushed around by his boss and canít even kiss his girlfriend, Linda (Marisa Tomei, looking incredible) in public thanks to a childhood de-pants-ing incident with the local bully. When a wild misunderstanding with a stewardess turns to stungunning, Dave is forced to undergo anger management counseling. Enter nationally known author Dr. Buddy Rydell (Nicholson).

Rydell notices Daveís repressed nature and feels that a few classes wonít do the trick. Aggressive therapy is what Dave needs, so Buddy moves into his pad and proceeds to interrupt every facet of his life. From take-your-doctor-to-work day to confronting that childhood bully, Rydellís methods are anything but conventional and soon one must wonder if thereís an alternate agenda in the back of his mind.

Sandlerís movies often exist with an aura of goofiness around them. From giant penguins to rappiní grannies, itís impossible to look at them the same way you would a regular plot-driven comedy. Heís out for laughs and will get them anyway he can, even if it takes people acting in ways or saying things no one ever would. Thereís a little of that in Anger Management. Very little, actually. Dave and Buddy donít fall victim to cheap laughs even when playing up their actorís personas or singing West Side Story tunes. Even Sandler naysayers may be surprised at how straightforward the narrative becomes after moments of silliness in the opening act.

Perhaps Iíll commit the ultimate act of silliness here by suggesting that Anger Management goes so far to subtly address the countryís stigma after 9/11. Stay with me. David Dorfmanís script is filled with references to patriotism, airline behavior and even an appearance by Rudy Giuliani. The feeling of individuals throughout the U.S. after that fateful day was one of a pause mode, keeping our emotions in check until we can come to term with it and the future. Can we stop being ďyesĒ men and question our boss (or leaders)? Can we deal with other religions (whether IslamÖor Buddhism) without provoking a fight? In the end, can we put love on the trinitron instead of war (even if itís just a Yankee game?) In a way, Anger Management is the comic version of Spike Leeís lacerating parable, 25th Hour. Or maybe Iím just nuts and have some issues to work out of my own.

Nicholson and Sandler have a natural rapport with one another and donít treat their characters as merely satisfying a marketing ploy. Jack is clearly being a good sport as are the various celebrities contributing cameos and Sandlerís regulars (which must now include John Turturro, once again hilarious.) One of the advantages of working with Paul Thomas Anderson must be access to his repetoiry company. John C. Reilly, Luis Guzman and even Heather Graham show up to lend their support and each of them get their laughs. With all the henpecked husbands Reilly has been playing lately, itís nice to see him getting a chance to finally express his rage.

Anger Management is light comedy in its simplest form. Smart yet breezy. Funny yet not crossing over to rampant vulgarity. Director Peter Segal has just the right touch for this brand of material having handled TOMMY BOY and sequels to THE NUTTY PROFESSOR and THE NAKED GUN. He botches the ending a bit by playing the film a bit TOO straight and not catering to the issuance of various subtle clues that would have made the end result all the more special. But when youíve got a cast and a star pairing like this, direction is somewhat of a thankless job. When it works like Anger Management, who is first to deserve the credit? I like to think itís the kind of collaborative effort thatís essential to prevent coasting on name recognition alone.

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originally posted: 04/11/03 08:52:53
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User Comments

7/22/19 Charles Tatum Nicholson is KING, but this has zero laugh out loud moments. 2 stars
12/29/17 morris campbell good imho 4 stars
6/20/10 JackAnus You suck, never review a movie again. 1 stars
10/28/09 the dork knight one of those comedies where everyone but the hero is utterly insane 3 stars
9/26/08 Shaun Wallner Awesome Cast!! 5 stars
3/16/08 ladavies very weird pairing of actors, didn't really work 3 stars
3/02/08 Pamela White very funny in a kinky way 4 stars
2/07/07 Ryan Miller This movie was pretty good but kinda boring!!!!! 3 stars
11/29/06 elise I think the movie was funny 4 stars
7/08/06 NS You are wrong if you think this is crap, Sandler and Nicholson are like the odd couple. 5 stars
6/22/06 TB All Right!!! 3 stars
6/09/06 Frank Rountree What a waste of time for two good actors! 1 stars
5/12/06 Fruit-Loop Blackest comedy ever. Funnnnnnnnyyy!!!!!! 5 stars
5/02/06 Anthony Feor Sandler+Nicholson=Disaster=Anger Managment 1 stars
3/09/06 R.W.Welch Has a few funny bits but much of the humor is forced. 3 stars
7/24/05 Bad Critic Sandler sucked, but Nicholson was great in an average movie. 3 stars
5/15/05 Joe Adam (Happy Gilmore) and Jack (The Shining) work great! Including Jack's psichotic smile! 4 stars
2/21/05 Dan Funny. 4 stars
2/06/05 Jeff Anderson WHAT A TERRIBLE & UNFUNNY WASTE OF A GREAT IDEA! All of Nicholson's fans should be outraged 1 stars
12/07/04 Jason Kaul I feel pretty... Oh so pretty.... Wonderful!!!! 4 stars
10/19/04 brockus this movie rules 5 stars
10/07/04 Daveman A few throwaway laughs aside, this film is peurile, nonsensical and homophobic to boot. 1 stars
9/28/04 whatevr I knew this movie sucked when I first saw the preview 1 stars
9/27/04 Archanist_101 Not bad... 5 stars
9/04/04 T.B. I wish the story change around 3 stars
7/25/04 Katie This movie isn't funny at all and the ending is completely stupid. A watse of film!!! 2 stars
4/20/04 y2mckay sweet Jesus, somebody kill Sandler before it's too late 1 stars
4/06/04 Dean Not too bad 3 stars
3/23/04 Agent Sands Typically underrated Sandler. Star-studded cast add to the fun script. Really funny. 4 stars
3/21/04 Samuel pretty stupid! 1 stars
3/17/04 James Cole This movie is really, really BAD! 1 stars
2/15/04 Jingo P. One of the greatest let-downs cinema has ever experienced. AWFUL. 2 stars
12/06/03 bender Wasted Talent. 2 stars
12/06/03 Jinnvisible Sucks like a Dyson !!! !!! !!! 1 stars
11/09/03 Mona Lott Ultimately unfunny "comedy";spares us not even the cliche of the black female hanging judge 1 stars
10/28/03 John Aster Habig hilarious but I would put Andrew to shame 5 stars
10/28/03 Mona Little Ultimate premise from hell for a "comedy". Could make Adam Sandler fans pull their hair out 1 stars
9/30/03 juicing my butt poor meatball, has to add this to his/her portfolio. like putting the nail in the coffin. 1 stars
9/19/03 Steve P Totally worthless 1 stars
9/15/03 the clarke Pure waste of time, should never have been made. 1 stars
9/15/03 Lindzb3 I loved it. I loved meatball! I really want a pic of him in red hoodie 4 stars
9/09/03 Dan If you liked this movie you are either blind, or an idiot. Or possibly a blind idiot. 1 stars
9/05/03 Schmoozana This is quite possibly one of the worst movies I've seen. 1 stars
7/18/03 May Q. Horney Whatever good effort is in the execution, it can't dig it out of the pit of the premise. 2 stars
7/13/03 Jimmy GranstrŲm I like the movie!! I think it was very fun and very strange, (good kind of strange) 5 stars
7/09/03 Erica The fat cat is the only funny thing in the movie, he's worth 5 stars, the film itself 1. 2 stars
5/23/03 micheal turner from matrix reloaded: i have not yet met jonathan cyr but will kick his ass!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
5/23/03 masonmommy Hilarious!! 5 stars
5/22/03 Kris One of the most stupid and irritating movies I ever saw. Shame on you, Jack. 1 stars
5/21/03 owen It was a good movie, the best Adam sandler movie I've seen in a while 4 stars
5/20/03 your worse goddamn nightmare Ol' Sausy Jack is great in this! It's for the mature folks rather than the lil' tards... 4 stars
5/18/03 alien assassin A crass attempt at humour despite some funny bits 3 stars
5/17/03 Turtle Great potential, sloppy execution. Barely average. 3 stars
5/14/03 Shadaan Felfeli Nicholson was hillarious, 'i feel pretty' was enjoyable and the last half hour was awful. 2 stars
5/09/03 Jerry Finckler S**k my F**king nuts!!!!!! 1 stars
5/08/03 Claudette Parker Funny at first, old joke by the middle and wished I'd stayed home by the end. 2 stars
5/07/03 leroyjones i payed a friend $8 to knee me in the nuts cuz thats what it felt like.. 1 stars
5/05/03 Jack Bourbon Eh. Not terrible. 3 stars
5/03/03 Jackson62 No "Mr. Deeds" but I guess that says something about me. 3 stars
5/02/03 Goofy Maxwell Like watching "The Game" For Dummies on PBS (Peckerwood Bitchslap Network). 4 stars
4/30/03 Jessica i loved this movie 5 stars
4/30/03 Beverly Anderson A waste of time and money and very disturbing that thirteen year old youth is seeing such 2 stars
4/28/03 Vitality1 The ending was a bit of a stretch. Not the best, but not the worst 4 stars
4/27/03 Robb Morpheus All parties involved should be ashamed to accept money for this crap! 1 stars
4/23/03 KittyKat I thought that the movie was funny, but it had a messed up plot to it. 4 stars
4/23/03 djplayer0213 the best movie 5 stars
4/22/03 Jeff Weinstein Erik, I'm really disappointed that you liked this movie. 2 stars
4/22/03 Dr. Bitterpants Thanks, Adam. You made the whole world angry at your stupid film plots. 1 stars
4/21/03 ajay I like the older Sandler movies, but he hasn't made anything good in a while... 2 stars
4/20/03 David Shaver V E R R R Y Y B O O O R R I N G G G 1 stars
4/18/03 Sandler Hits It Towards... ... His Extra Average Dumbarse Supporters 1 stars
4/18/03 earl duron funny begining but movie grates on to bad ending 3 stars
4/18/03 KingNeutron A bit contrived and with plenty of plot holes, but maybe worth seeing once. 3 stars
4/18/03 Barb - anger management candidate :-) Not as bad as everyone is saying. Has some funny moments from 2 actors who can DO anger. 3 stars
4/18/03 George Jung One of the fucking worst fucking movies that I fucking ever fucking saw. 1 stars
4/18/03 snowconehead It's Sandler, you get what you pay for, what were you expecting? 4 stars
4/16/03 Andrew Carden Celebrity Cameos Are The Only Good Thing About This Unfunny Sandler Flick. 2 stars
4/15/03 srburns There were some good moments, worth matinee price 3 stars
4/15/03 C W This movie doesn't deserve the one star it gets for being "total crap" 1 stars
4/14/03 Adam Sandler's Brain Well, it was a lot better then the water boy... 1 stars
4/14/03 Melanie This movie is funny as hell!!! 5 stars
4/13/03 syrius funny, but little nicky made more sense than this 3 stars
4/13/03 Forsaken Very Funny, sure as heck the best pure comedy Sandler has made in some time 4 stars
4/12/03 Earl Dittman - Wireless Magazine More feces from the Master of Turds! Enjoy, moviegoers! 1 stars
4/11/03 Open Wide! Adam Sandler sucks the big, wet log. 1 stars
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  11-Apr-2003 (PG-13)



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