Anger Management

Movie Review by Nigel A. Messenger

Starring: Jack Nicholson, Adam Sandler, Marisa Tomei, Heather Graham
Director: Peter Segal

I have to admit that I haven’t really enjoyed the Adam Sandler movies I’ve seen so far so I approached ANGER MANAGEMENT with caution. Fortunately I soon realised that my hesitation was unfounded as the movie won me over almost from the word go.

Sandler plays mild mannered Dave, a guy who stays in control by bottling up his emotions. He doesn’t easily lose his cool so he’s the last guy you would think that would need anger management. But on a plane and because of a slight altercation with a stewardess and a plain-clothes policeman he ends up in court and is sentenced, for no apparent reason, to an anger management class. He’s therapist and head of the class is a lunatic with a real temper problem, Dr Buddy Rydell (Jack Nicholson) whose therapy includes moving in with Dave and shadowing him every minute of the day. Together with a group full of characters who are all on the edge of ‘losing it’ at any moment Dave might just lose his cool for real.

To make therapy even more challenging Buddy appears to be making a play for Dave’s girlfriend, Linda (Marisa Tomei), so when Buddy takes Linda on a dinner date, Dave dates two of his anger management group at the same time, the extra hot Stacy (Krista Allen) and her girlfriend Gina (January Jones).

ANGER MANAGEMENT is a funny movie, it does make you laugh quite a bit but it could have been even funnier. Not enough is made of some of the situations set up in the story. For instance more could have been done with the dinner date scene that I just described. It’s almost like the scene just wasn’t finished off. Heather Graham also turns up for about 10 minutes as a seemingly unattainable hottie for Dave to ‘pick-up’ under orders from Buddy. She plays the role perfectly but again more could have been done with her character.

These points aside, ANGER MANAGEMENT is probably Adam Sandler’s best movie to date with Jack Nicholson’s extreme character playing out perfectly as if he’d just stepped out of his role in THE SHINING from years ago. No matter how unlikely the story is, it’s a comedy and it’s funny and that’s really all that matters.

4 out of 6 stars

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