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Anger Management

Year: 2003
Production Co: Revolution Studios
Director: Peter Segal
Writer: David Dorfman
Cast: Adam Sandler, Jack Nicholson, Marisa Tomei, Luis Guzman, John Turturro, Heather Graham, Woody Harrelson, John C Reilly, John McEnroe, Harry Dean Stanton, Rudy Guliani, Allen Covert, January Jones

This is the Adam Sandler credibility has turned him into, only placed in the sort of movie the old Adam Sandler movie would have been at home. Not that he isn't at home here. The sweet natured, shy, bumbling persona that PT Anderson put to such good use in Punch Drunk Love (the opposite to the tantrum throwing, abusive hothead persona that cemented his B grade popularity) suits the story perfectly.

It's a walk in the park for Jack Nicholson, who gives it his all regardless, and being a Sandler camp film, there are more cameos and friends in roles than you can shake a stick at, including a scene-stealing Turturro as Chuck.

Dave (Sandler) is a completely faint hearted loser who can't even kiss his beautiful girlfriend (Tomei) in public. When he's sentenced to anger management for seemingly baseless and paranoid crimes, he's put under the care of the 'unorthodox' Buddy Rydell (Nicholson), whose antics are enough to drive anyone to acts of violent destruction.

In the hands of a master like Nicholson, the irritation exudes from the screen and even you'll want to punch him. It's this sort of comic tension kept at constant levels (as well as the chemistry between Nicholson and Sandler) that make the move much better than it should be given the corny-sounding premise.

The comedy is sustained by a storyline that never seems to go down well-trod paths, and there is a meaningful ending with a pretty surprising twist instead of a rush-job cop out. Plenty of laughter at the work of some very talented performers, and not just the leads.

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