There are three main leads in Anger Management; Adam Sandler, Jack Nicholson and Jack Nicholson’s eyebrows (which seem to have come to life more than normal).
A mild-mannered junior executive, David Buznik (Adam Sandler) has spent his entire life shying away from confrontation. Unfortunately he manages to rub an air stewardess up the wrong way by lightly touching her arm after she repeatedly ignores his requests for a headset. Before he knows what’s happening, David is zapped by a Tazer, wrongly accused of assault and enrolled into an anger management class.
This class is led by renowned anger therapist, Dr Buddy Rydell (Jack Nicholson) whose methods are less than conventional. After another misunderstanding Dr Rydell decides to take David’s therapy to the next level – to move in with him.
Unfortunately David’s life is completely turned upside down, causing friction with his boss (Kurt Fuller) who steals his ideas and also with his girlfriend Linda (Marisa Tomei) as Dr Rydell increasingly encroaches into his life. Are the good doctor’s motives completely in David’s interest? Or does he have an alternative agenda?
Anger Management has a host of characters played by a wealth of talent which include Luis Guzman, John Tuturro, Heather Graham, Woody Harrelson, John C. Reilly and Harry Dean Stanton. However, the two leads are also the best and worst in the case. The best being Jack Nicholson (and eyebrows) who steal every scene they are in. His over the top antics and insane grinning heighten his performance and seems to really be enjoying himself immensely. Unfortunately Adam Sandler is on the other side of the scale and seems to be on auto-pilot for the most part, it’s almost as if he’s sedated for the most part. Marisa Tomei as the supporting girlfriend of David is very charming albeit a little underused.
The cameos from the actors mentioned before are amongst the funniest in the film, with a transvestite hooker and David’s anger support group members who include a strange ‘queen’, a violent nutcase and two temperamental lesbians (who incidentally are the type of gorgeous lesbians found in films instead of the ‘short-haired feminist in comfortable shoes’ types).
There are all the Sandler trademarks including the line “You can do it!” (this time by New York’s Mayor Giuliani) and enough dick jokes and craziness to carry the film through to the end. Unlike a lot of films nowadays, Anger Management manages to keep its pacing through the second half. The chemistry between the leads is great and seeing them bounce off each other manages to cover the weak script for the most part.
On the whole Anger Management is amusing enough and has enough funny moments and romance to keep both the fellas and gals entertained. It’s almost worth seeing for Adam Sandler’s rendition of ‘I feel pretty’ and definitely worth seeing for Jack Nicholson’s eyebrows.
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