Anger Management (film)
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Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Peter Segal|
|Written by||David S. Dorfman|
|Music by||Teddy Castellucci|
|Edited by||Jeff Gourson|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
|Box office||$195.7 million|
Anger Management is a 2003 American comedy film directed by Peter Segal, written by David S. Dorfman, and starring Adam Sandler, Jack Nicholson, and Marisa Tomei. It was produced by Revolution Studios in association with Sandler's production company Happy Madison Productions and was distributed by Columbia Pictures.
When an annoying passenger, and a case of mistaken identity, causes Dave Buznik to lose his temper on an airline flight, he is sentenced to anger management classes. Buznik learns his therapist is the passenger, who proves to have a rather interventionist style of therapy.
In 1978, a young Dave Buznik is about to kiss the girl of his dreams, when a local bully, Arnie Shankman, pulls down his pants and underwear, embarrassing him in front of everybody. This leaves Dave with lasting trauma about public affection, as well as repressing his emotions. Twenty five years later, Dave Buznik lives in New York City, working as an associate for Frank Head, an abusive boss who takes credit for Dave's work. His problems also extend to his private life; his girlfriend Linda's ex-boyfriend Andrew is still close friends with her and is condescending to Dave at work.
While flying to a business meeting, a series of annoyances from a flight attendant and a sky marshal cause Dave to lose his temper. The sky marshal, who also mistakes Dave for a racist, tasers him. Dave is then arrested for assaulting the flight attendant and sentenced to anger management therapy. The therapist is Buddy Rydell, who is revealed to be the man Dave sat next to on the plane. Buddy's unorthodox techniques cause Dave to lose his temper, and Buddy tells Dave he recognizes his problem as passive-aggressive anger. When Dave is sent back to court, Buddy intervenes on his behalf choosing to move in with Dave and shadow him in his life as part of more intensive therapy. Failure to comply will result in a year of jail time for Dave. Although Dave believes that co-worker Andrew is doing nothing to ruin him at work, Buddy suspects otherwise and tells him that he needs to start fighting back or nothing will change. After receiving a phone call for Buddy informing him his mother is undergoing minor surgery in Boston, Dave jokes to him about its seriousness, prompting Buddy to warn he'll get Dave back with another practical joke.
The two drive to Boston, after in anger, smashing and destroying a car that was blocking Buddy's in a parking garage. After seeing Buddy's mother, the two stop at a restaurant on the way back to New York. After Buddy pressures him, Dave flirts and goes home with a beautiful young lady he sees at the bar, but then at her home, rejects her amorous advances out of loyalty to Linda. Later, Dave is devastated to learn that Buddy has told Linda on the phone about the woman, but Buddy explains the woman was a former patient of his, having set up the encounter to get revenge on Dave for the "dying mother" prank. The next morning, Buddy apologizes to Dave and says he explained everything to Linda. Buddy and Dave then take a detour to a Buddhist temple, so that Dave can confront a reformed Arnie, who has become a monk. While confronting his tormentor at outdoor group meditation, Arnie expresses his sincerest apologies to Dave for bullying him, but he laughs when Dave reminds him of the kiss incident. Buddy and an initially hesitant Dave provoke Arnie by lying about Dave having molested Arnie's mentally ill sister, and Dave and Arnie fight. Buddy teases the monks into a rage and the two are chased off the grounds, with Dave feeling good on having confronted his tormentor. Back in New York, Dave attempts to propose to Linda but loses his nerve, and Linda suggests that they take a break from their relationship. Soon after Buddy begins dating Linda, Dave sees this as the last straw and loses his cool by attacking Buddy. Being called back into court, Dave is given a restraining order by the judge, who threatens to lock him up if Dave has another incident.
Called into work and yelled at by his boss, Dave finally snaps when he learns that his boss intentionally passed him up and gave the promotion to Andrew. Dave calls Andrew out for trying to interfere with both his promotion and relationship with Linda, revealing he wants Andrew out of their lives forever. When Andrew attempts to insult him by claiming he needed Buddy to back him up, Dave knocks him out cold. Using Buddy's advice, he proceeds to humiliate his boss by using a golf club to wreck his office and reminding him of all the years of his loyal services just to be denied of the promotion he wanted so much. Dave then tells his boss that if he gets out of jail within the next two to five years, he expects his boss to do the right thing and give him the promotion that Andrew presumably resigned from. His boss agrees and Dave deliberately steps on Andrew's head as he leaves. Before leaving, Dave tells his boss off that he should never insult his cat, Meatball, again unless he wants the cat to finish up eating all his crab cakes and leave a mess in his office. Learning from Andrew that Buddy has taken Linda to a New York Yankees game, Dave assumes Buddy intends to steal his proposal idea and races to the stadium. Security captures him and begins to remove him from the stadium but Mayor Rudy Giuliani orders them to allow Dave to speak. After admitting that he does have an anger problem, which was to be more confrontational instead of less, and is willing to change, Dave agrees to kiss Linda in front of the stadium in exchange for her marrying him. Linda and Buddy then reveal that the game was the final part of Dave's therapy, and explain that the tormentors and aggravations he has been put through were Buddy's doing to teach him how to unleash his anger in healthy doses to avoid it building up. The passenger, the Judge, the waitress, and the flight attendant are all Buddy's friends, while the sky marshal who tased him was just having a bad day.
The three attend a picnic with Buddy's other patients, where Dave plays a final joke on Buddy with a friend holding the group up with a water pistol, and the film ends as the friends sing "I Feel Pretty" from West Side Story together.
- Adam Sandler as David "Dave" Buznik
- Jonathan Osser as Young Dave Buznik
- Jack Nicholson as Dr. Buddy Rydell
- Marisa Tomei as Linda
- Luis Guzmán as Lou
- Jonathan Loughran as Nate
- Kurt Fuller as Frank Head
- Krista Allen as Stacy
- January Jones as Gina
- Clint Black as Masseur
- John Turturro as Chuck
- Lynne Thigpen as Judge Brenda Daniels
- This film turned out to be Thigpen's final film. She died a month before the film's release; the film is dedicated in her memory.
- Woody Harrelson as Galaxia the tranvestite prostitute/Gary the Security Guard
- Kevin Nealon as Sam, Dave's Lawyer
- Allen Covert as Andrew
- Nancy Carell as Patty the Flight Attendant
- John C. Reilly (uncredited) as Older Monk Arnie Shankman
- Alan James Morgan as Young Arnie Shankman
- Heather Graham as Kendra
- Harry Dean Stanton (uncredited) as Blind Man
- Isaac C. Singleton Jr. as Air Marshal
- Stephen Dunham as Maitre d'
- Cody Arens as Boy at Yankee Stadium
Several others appeared as themselves, such as:
- John McEnroe
- Derek Jeter
- Robert Merrill
- Bob Sheppard
- Judith Nathan
- Bob Knight
- Roger Clemens
- Rudy Giuliani
- Blondie – "Heart of Glass"
- Jimmy Buffett – "Margaritaville"
- West Side Story – "I Feel Pretty"
- Louis Armstrong – "Mack The Knife"
- Smash Mouth – "Why Can't We Be Friends?"
- Bee Gees – "How Deep Is Your Love"
- The Rolling Stones – "19th Nervous Breakdown"
- The Rolling Stones – "Street Fighting Man"
- Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson – "Scream"
- Santana – "Black Magic Woman"
- Aerosmith – "Pink"
- Carl Douglas – "Kung Fu Fighting"
- The Who – "Won't Get Fooled Again"
- Tori Amos – "China"
- Louis Prima – "When You're Smiling"
- Jane's Addiction – "Stop!"
- Van Halen – "Ice Cream Man"
- Cream – "Strange Brew"
- Filter – "The Only Way (Is The Wrong Way)"
The review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported that 43% of critics gave the film positive reviews, with an average reviewer score of 5.2/10, based on 192 reviews. The site's consensus reads "Though not without its funny moments, Anger Management is ultimately stale and disappointingly one-note, especially considering its capable cast." Metacritic reported the film had an average score of 52 out of 100, based on 38 reviews.
TV series adaptation
A television series based on the film premiered on June 28, 2012, starring Charlie Sheen in the role originated by Jack Nicholson; the series was Sheen's first acting role since his firing from the hit CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men on March 7, 2011 after eight seasons. The show was produced by the film's producer Joe Roth, and was broadcast on FX in the United States, CTV in Canada and on TBS in Latin America.
- Lang, Brent (September 1, 2011). "'Inside the Revolution Library: Where Joe Roth Went Wrong". TheWrap.com. Retrieved June 28, 2017.
- "Anger Management Movie Reviews, Pictures". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved April 19, 2018.
- "Anger Management (2003): Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2008-05-17.
- "Breaking News – FX Locks Summer Launch Date for Comedy Series". The futon Critic. Archived from the original on 2012-09-29. Retrieved 2011-07-06.
- "Charlie Sheen eyes TV return in 'Anger Management'". Yahoo!. Archived from the original on 2011-07-11. Retrieved 2011-07-06.
- "Charlie Sheen's 'Anger Management' premiered during the summer of 2011 on FX". Hollywood.com. Archived from the original on 2012-08-03. Retrieved 2011-10-27.
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