Sunday, December 14, 2014
ANGER MANAGEMENT (2003)
Directed By: Peter Segal
Written By: David Dorfman
Cinematography By: Don McAlpine
Editor: Jeff Gourson
Cast: Adam Sandler, Jack Nicholson, Marisa Tomei, Woody Harrelson, Heather Graham, John Turturro, John C. Reilly, Luis Guzman, Harry Dean Stanton, Krista Allen, Kurt Fuller, Lynne Thigpen, Kevin Nealon, January Jones, Allen Covert, Jonathan Loughran, Lori Huering
Mild-mannered timid businessman Dave Buznik works for a pet clothing company out of New York City. He's got an abrasive boss named Mr. Frank Head who frequently takes credit for his work and steps on him in return. He's got a loving girlfriend, Linda, whose best friend is her condescending college ex, Andrew. But when a misunderstanding aboard an airplane goes haywire, Dave is ordered by the court to undergo anger management therapy at the hands of specialist Dr. Buddy Rydell, who is an unpredictable, psychopathic character. As the relationship between Dave and Buddy becomes more tense, when the unorthodox treatment wreaks havoc Dave's life, and Buddy might be the only one who can save him from a problem he recognizes right away in his patient, that could only get worse.
Hard to believe it took me this long, by this is the film where I truly began my disillusionment with Adam Sandler films. Now I will say at first I wasn't really a fan until i saw BILLY MADISON in theaters at a discount theater and it really won me over and after that time to time I would watch and enjoy his films. They weren't good but they were entertaining and fun. Sure he had the LITTLE NICKY debacle which to this day I have never watched in full, but I figured most stars are entitled to a fluke or two. He was just feeling his hubris. Then this film came along which I saw in a theater. It maxed out all favors to me.
This film marks the beginning of the end for me. Before this film I didn't love all of Adam Sandler's films, but I could admit to enjoying them. So when I found out he was starting with jack Nicholson who usually is not only a dramatic actor, but picks grade A material mostly. I was excited. How could this go wrong. Well I witnessed the many ways it did.
This film which brings two superstars together in a film that is totally beneath one of them. Though truthfully jack Nicholson can rarely do no wrong as he is the consummate actor. Though he appears to have fun with his role here. It is more of a paycheck role, but I will give it to him he earns it here. As it seems a role either taken out of fun or to remind audiences that he is still around and as fun and kooky as ever. It also leaves Sandler to prove that he can not only co-star with a higher pedigree of actor, but even better he can pull them into his world of movies l. Not really having to venture into anyone else's films and universe unless he wants too. Showcasing a strength at the Box office and of his superstardom.
It's a team up that is shocking as it has two stars you never thought you would see working together, but isn't quite the team up you fantasize about either.
Luckily the film gives most of the comedic material to Nicholson and other supporting characters while Sandler plays the straight man. Nicholson does fine, but it feels like the film was set-up with a weak script and comedic situations. That seems to think that to will be fixed by the actors on the spot through improv or hoping the audience will be distracted by the big name superstars making cameos and acting silly. That will be enough to keep us entertained. Making up for a lack of certain creativity. And truly serve little purpose.
Buddy picks up a golf club and a baseball bat before choosing the baseball bat to smash the window of the Lexus. In 1994, Jack Nicholson was cited for smashing a man's window with a golf club in a bout of rage.
There is plenty of set-up with barely any follow through in the film. By the end once you find out Nicholson's characters methods. They still really make no sense. It again is a film that you can tell the cast had more fun making the film rather than the audience having to watch it.
While some jokes do work. It's rare into the films running time. That they do.
Another film where the humor seems to be aimed at wild older man who loves life and is laid back teaching life lessons to a button downed younger person, trying to teach them to love life
There is no rhyme or reason to scenes barely any energy is produced by the actors. In fact John Turturro is the only cast member who is consistently funny in a cast that at times seems to try way too hard to get laughs or let the significance of their appearance do all the work for them. This is a trend that starts to repeat itself throughout his future Films also so that it becomes part of the base formula for them.
This is the film I feel showed Adam Sandler he didn't really have to try hard to get laughs and a box office hit. Audiences will come because we this point he was a guaranteed movie star. Like him or not he fills seats in theaters.
Now it seems audiences are slowly catching onto him and his methods.
The film is like SCHOOL FOR SCOUNDRELS only not as mean spirited or funny.