Anger Management (film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Peter Segal|
|Produced by||Jack Giarraputo|
|Written by||David S. Dorfman|
|Music by||Teddy Castellucci|
|Edited by||Jeff Gourson|
|Distributed by||Sony Pictures Releasing|
|Box office||$195.7 million|
Anger Management is a 2003 American buddy comedy film directed by Peter Segal and written by David S. Dorfman. Starring Adam Sandler, Jack Nicholson, Marisa Tomei, Luis Guzmán, Woody Harrelson, and John Turturro, the film tells the story of a businessman who is wrongly sentenced to an anger management program where he meets an aggressive instructor. Anger Management was released in theaters in the United States on April 11, 2003, by Columbia Pictures and grossed $195.7 million against an $83.5 million budget.
In 1978 Brooklyn, as a young Dave Buznik is about to experience his first kiss with the girl of his dreams, local bully Arnie Shankman suddenly pulls down his pants and underwear, exposing Dave's penis and humiliating him in front of everybody.
Twenty-five years later in 2003, Dave works as a secretary for Frank Head, his disrespectful boss who takes credit for his work. Dave's trauma from the bullying causes him to avoid displaying public affection such as kissing his girlfriend Linda in public. His problems are exacerbated by the fact his narcissistic co-worker, Andrew, is still close friends with Linda, who spurns his attempts to rekindle their past relationship.
During a flight to a business meeting, annoyed by a flight attendant and a sky marshal Dave loses his temper, prompting the marshal to taser him. He is arrested for assaulting the flight attendant and is sentenced to anger management therapy under Dr. Buddy Rydell, a renowned therapist who sat next to him on the plane. Dave's single session is extended to 30 days, however, after he accidentally breaks a waitress' nose while defending himself from a blind man who kept hitting Dave with his cane.
Buddy elects to move in with Dave and join him at work as part of his "radical round-the-clock therapy". This entails unorthodox techniques causing Dave to be passive aggressive. At Dave's workplace, Buddy learns Andrew has a long penis and is shocked to learn of his friendship with Linda. Buddy warns Dave that he should confront Andrew before he and Linda get back together; Dave insists he is "doing okay myself". Buddy sees a photo of Linda on Dave's desk and becomes instantly smitten by her, annoying Dave. To enhance Dave's assertiveness, Buddy arranges for him to visit Arnie Shankman, who has reformed and become a Buddhist monk, telling Dave to exact revenge on him. 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 molesting Arnie's mentally ill sister. A fight ensues between them. After defeating Arnie, Dave and Buddy successfully flee from monks that chased them. Dave is delighted to have had his revenge.
Back home, Linda tells Dave she agreed to follow Buddy's advice that they have a trial separation; Buddy explains to an angry Dave this is to give him time to improve his behavior. Dave attacks Buddy when he learns he and Linda have begun dating. Dave is then called back into court where Buddy is issued a restraining order against him. Dave finally snaps at work when he learns Frank intentionally passed him up and promoted Andrew to a higher position. He punches Andrew in the face for meddling in his relationship with Linda and, using Buddy's advice, proceeds to humiliate Frank. He wrecks his office with a golf club and reminds Frank of all his years of loyal service only to be denied the promotion he wanted. He tells Frank that when he gets out of jail, he expects him to do the right thing and give him the promotion Andrew presumably resigned from. Frank agrees and Dave deliberately steps on Andrew's head as he leaves the room.
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. Linda is moved when Dave admits publicly that he has an anger problem and is willing to change. Dave kisses her in front of the stadium crowd before she accepts his marriage proposal. Linda reveals to him that the game was the final phase of his therapy and explains that the tormentors and the aggravation he was put through was all Buddy's doing. The people involved, including the flight attendant and the judge are revealed to be Buddy's friends, except the marshal, who was having a very bad day.
- 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
The review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 42% of 194 surveyed critics gave the film positive reviews; the average score is 5.15/10. 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 reports the film has an average score of 52 out of 100 based on 39 reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
The film was number one at the box office on its opening weekend, August 28–30, 2003, earning $42,220,847. It earned a total of $135,645,823 in the U.S. with a total worldwide box office of $195,745,823.
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 for two seasons, totalling 100 episodes before it was cancelled.
- Lang, Brent (September 1, 2011). "Inside the Revolution Library: Where Joe Roth Went Wrong". TheWrap.com. Archived from the original on August 29, 2018. Retrieved June 28, 2017.
- "Anger Management Movie Reviews, Pictures". Rotten Tomatoes. Archived from the original on February 7, 2017. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
- "Anger Management (2003): Reviews". Metacritic. Archived from the original on July 30, 2015. Retrieved March 6, 2020.
- "Anger Management - Box Office". boxofficemojo.com. Archived from the original on December 19, 2019. Retrieved December 15, 2019.
- "Breaking News – FX Locks Summer Launch Date for Comedy Series". The Futon Critic. Archived from the original on September 29, 2012. Retrieved July 6, 2011.
- "Charlie Sheen eyes TV return in 'Anger Management'". Yahoo!. Archived from the original on July 11, 2011. Retrieved July 6, 2011.
- "Charlie Sheen's 'Anger Management' premiered during the summer of 2011 on FX". Hollywood.com. Archived from the original on August 3, 2012. Retrieved October 27, 2011.
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