Anger Management (2003)


Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Better than Sheen.

Comedy classics. You may have a different idea of what they are than I do, but for whatever reason Anger Management was one of my favorite comedies. Not so much anymore, but I do recall loving the film. Watching it again, I don’t think the jokes are as strong as they used to be, and because Sandler’s career has kind of dropped off the radar, it’s just not as good of a film overall that it used to be. I still can respect a lot of what it is about, but it’s got some flaws. I will say that the TV show loosely based off of this film doesn’t deserve its title, because it totally has nothing to do with this film, nor is anywhere as interesting.

Anger Management is about one of the calmest guys around, Dave Buznik (Adam Sandler), who after he gets into an argument on a plane, is sentenced to anger management therapy. His anger management therapist, Buddy, believes the best way to help Dave is to have contact therapy – basically…Buddy moves in with Dave and sticks with him 24/7 to locate the source of anger and eliminate it. The only problem is Dave isn’t an angry person, and the only thing Buddy is “managing” to do is make Dave angrier as the days progress.

I’ll first try to explain why this film was so funny when I first saw it. I was probably around fifteen when it came out, so as a very sheltered young man, its risqué scenes were kind of a guilty pleasure for me. What I mean by risqué is anything not found in church, which is pretty much the whole movie. Did I mention I was sheltered? Beyond that, the movie is actually smart in a few departments. The premise itself is strong and fresh, unlike a lot of comedies out there. The casting choice was a brilliant one if I do say so myself. Nicholson and Sandler are so amazing together that I’m actually surprised they haven’t been in anything together since. Finally, the film is very quotable. I’m not so much of a fan of Adam Sandler anymore, but I have to give the film credit for having some amazing one-liners, both for Nicholson and Sandler. Goosefraba – brilliant. Singing “I Feel Pretty”? So random and so, so funny.

The idea of a bold approach of over-the-top situations is partially what makes this film so unique and honestly amazing – as it’s the glue that holds together the tone of the whole thing. It’s also partially problematic. Over-the-top can be fun and all, but we’re still realists at heart and the whole reason why he’s in anger management doesn’t make a lot of sense, especially when it all “comes together” in the end. You have to think that – that was a lot of work, but was it really necessary? The answer to that is a pretty simple and obvious “no”. Also, other than Buddy claiming Dave is reaching the next “level” of his program, there’s no reasonable explanation as to how or why he got to the next level, so the audience has no idea where any of this is all going. Basically…it was just an excuse to pull together as many over-the-top situations with Buddy as they could muster…but if you’re looking for real story progression and development, you might have to look elsewhere.

The Good:

Anger Management is honestly one of Adam Sandler’s better films. Its unique premise and humor will keep you laughing. You might even join the rest of the world in quoting several of the scenes.

The Bad:

As a movie that should progress normally, the film fails a bit. It tries really hard to be a great comedy, and maybe it has some great jokes, but the viewer never really has any idea where the film is headed.

Memorable Quote:

Nate: Gooooose… blah blah

Dr. Buddy Rydell: No, not blah blah, Nate. Goosefraba.


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