Review: Anger Management (2003)

Anger Management (2003)

Directed by: Peter Segal | 106 minutes | comedy | Actors: Jack Nicholson, Adam Sandler, Marisa Tomei, Luis Guzmán, John Turturro, Woody Harrelson, Jonathan Loughran, Kurt Fuller, Krista Allen, January Jones

The funny thing about writing a review about this comedy is that the movie isn’t funny at all. The script of ‘Anger Management’ misses the mark so often that you wonder why a top actor like Jack Nicholson wanted to link his name to it. The plot is very far-fetched and has no contact with reality at all, no one behaves like in this film!

Anger Management is about Dave Buznik. Dave is a boy who wouldn’t hurt a fly and through no fault of his own ends up in a situation where he can be blamed for losing his temper. Because a flight attendant is accidentally injured in this, he is sentenced to follow an “Anger management” course. The psychiatrist giving this course turns out to be the one sitting next to him on the plane when the incident was initiated. It seems slick, yet Dave Buznik is so gullible as to attend a session.

He is terrified by John Turturro, who plays a psychopath who becomes angry about everything, but everything. Luis Guzmán is also treated by Dr. Rydell. We also meet two lesbian pornstars, who have quite a few mood swings due to their jealousy, and a sports fanatic, who gets angry watching his favorite team’s matches. At the beginning of ‘Anger Management’ it is already clear that Dave is not angry at all, but that he is just having a problem with himself. The makers of the film only act as if you are only allowed to realize this halfway through the film. The only times Dave gets angry is quite right, he’s just someone who usually gets walked all over him.

The writers didn’t think this premise was funny enough for an entire movie, because we’re also supposed to lie double over jokes about a man with a large genitals. As if that wasn’t enough, they got Dave a job as a designer of clothes for overweight cats!

There are many nice cameos in it: we see Woody Harrelson dressed as a transvestite/prostitute (and later on the sports field as a security employee, a more recognizable Woody); Heather Graham as a sexy bar visitor hired by Rydell to seduce Dave; John C. Reilly as the adult Arnie Shankman, a bully from Dave’s childhood who has caused his fear of kissing in public. Even John McEnroe makes an appearance in one of the few really nice scenes from the film. The supporting role of Marisa Tomei shows again that this nice actress is undervalued, her role could have been a bit bigger.

The ending of the film is sweet and just embarrassing to watch. Singing “I’m so pretty” from the musical West Side Story is no fun, and to think you have to go through it twice too…

All in all ‘Anger Management’ is not a great movie, but not so bad that you have to go to therapy for it.

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