Hello, Spongey here.
Well, I suppose with Hotel Transylvania 2 coming out this month, it’s time to tackle another Adam Sandler movie. Honestly, I only plan to do 1 more after this, depending on how HT 2 pans out. The main reason being…I’m running out of films that I actually want to review in depth.
This 2003 film was in a weird area. No one really remembers and while it got negative review, no one really cares about it enough to hate it. I think it’s just cuz it wasn’t a major hit or noteworthy enough, and stuff like that.
I saw it a while ago and it was…odd. Not bad, but not quite good either. It’s …differnet what I expected, and that’s why we’re here. We’ll see this Sandler romp turns out. Oh, and before you aks, I won’t review Pixels. Not just cuz NC did it, but because I doubt i’ll have a lot to say. Aside from ranting about people being overly negative about it.
This one comes to use from the director of 50 first dates….and Nutty professor 2. The writer has done nothing.
So let’s see if we’ll need anger managent after our reaction to this movie, or if it’s got a bit more.
This, is Anger Management
The movie opens in 1978 as a kid if trying to hit on a girl. Okay, if an Adam Sandler movie opens with him as a kid, you know it’s not gonna be good.
She’s about to kiss him when a bully pulls his pants down and because kids in movies find that the funniest thing ever, this embarrasses him.
We cut to 25 years later as the kid has grown to be Adam Sandler who in this one is a powerful business secretary guy. Eh, i’ll buy it for now. I’ll call him by his name, Dav,e because this is different from a typical Sandler role.
Speaking of typical Sandler, his too hot for him girlfriend is Marisa Tomei. Dave’s boss is a jerk who steals his ideas and doesn’t stick up for himself. Didn’t we go through sticking up to your boss in the last review?
He’s going on a flight to do business stuff ad this is where things get….weird. He sits next to Jack Nicholson who acts annoying. He laughs at an obviously dumb Comedy. …The irony is amazing.
Dave asks a flight attendant for something but she wastes time gossiping with someone. He asks politely and she claims he is raising his voice. Then she acts if he’s acting up when he’s being normal.
A guy pops up and asks Dave to have a talk with him, and again acts like he’s acting up.
“What’s up your people?’
he’s black….yeah. He’s just being normal but they keep bitching at him to calm down, and eventually he is tased. For just being a bit shouty, at least in their mind. He is taken to court for “Assault and battery” even then he didn’t do anything.
….Yeah, I said this got weird. See, this kind of joke happens when the world obviously doesn’t take place in reality. Pretty sure South Park does it all the time. This movie however seemed to be fairly normal up to this point, and yet this is happening.
It’s more awkward than funny….but it’s not even the start of it. You’ll see, and it’s…weird. Dave must pay a fine and go to Anger Management. And that’s how we get into it….Well, I didn’t see that coming, at least.
The therapist just happens to be Jack Nicholson, whose character’s name is Buddy. He says he’ll tell them Dave has no problems if just goes to one session. Naturally, we get some jokes about crazy people from this.
Let’s go down the list: We got John Tuttro wasting talent again, two lesbians (one of which is played by January Jones), a sports obsessed guy, and people who aren’t introduced yet. Dave gets a bit angry due to Buddy’s weird methods and we get jokes from the stereotypes.
One of the other guys is a gay black guy. Sigh. After the session, Buddy assigns him to double the time he had to spend here. He claims Dave is an implosive angry person and given one reaction back there….eh, maybe but Buddy kind of caused it.
This whole movie is basically a Sandler torture but done in a very…odd way. At the end you’ll see why I’m reviewing it. Anyway, Dave meets up with Linda who is with her Ex-boyfriend who is not a jerk for now, and is a good friend. This still troubles Dave quite a bit
Oh, and he’s played by Sandler regular Allen Covert. Dave voices his concerns about Andrew to Linda and they talk about his dick because Comedy. Chuck, John Tuttro’s character, shows up for help because clearly a guy who dislikes you is the best person to go to.
They go to a bar as Chuck explains his backstory as an angry person. He slept with his aunt because Comedy. Chucks picks a fight with a guy and Sandler gets wrapped up in it. This takes Dave right back to court. Joy.
Although in this case I get it. A blind guy was attacking him and he tried to take away his can only to hit a waitress. That…does look pretty bad. They don’t let him explain himself though, because we’re only 25 minutes in.
Buddy stands up for him and says he’ll just do even more Anger Management. This is where the plot really starts, of that was just a warm up. …Yep.
Buddy shows up to crash at Dave’s place during this 30 day program. By the way, there are some funny moments here and there but I want to focus on the plot at the moment. We get an awkward joke with Buddy sleeping with Sandler while nude because ugh. Fart joke, then we find out that Buddy must join Dave at work.
This is where things are getting mixed. We have more funny moments mostly due to Jack Nicholson, but we also get more bad jokes and just plain weird moments. I swear, this building up to something.
The fact that Dave is fairly normal makes all of this extreme stuff much less funny. I get what this is supposed to do but at the moment it’s just really awkward. Especially this bit where they are driving and Buddy makes him stop the car so he can sing and get ‘un-flustered”. It’s…..weird and it goes on FOREVER.
They arrive at work at have another awkward scene with the boss. Dave is getting angrier as this goes on, which I suppose is sort of clever but the ending ….well you’ll see.
Dave finds out that Buddy has a history of rather unorthodox techniques and he even has some lawsuits pending. This would work better if everyone else in the movie wasn’t equally crazy like the people on the plane.
Next, Buddy has him take off his clothes….oh my. Then we just….skip that part and cut to Buddy paying a prostitute to have a chat with Dave. Said prostitute is a transvestite played by Woody Harrleson. Oh yay, something else Tumblr can get pissed at. Wait, I can get angry because it’s reaaaaly unfunny.
So after…that, Dave gets a call from Buddy’s assistant saying his Mom is having minor surgery. He tells him and he starts to show some humanity, albeit through “comedic” crying. …Then Dave tells him it was a joke and then he says he’s serious. That was confusing and pointless, because the result is the same: They go up to Boston to see Buddy’s mother.
But we skip the part where they see her so the mother surgery is just a plot device to get us to the next awkward set piece. They stop a restaurant on their way back to New York and Buddy asks Dave to flirt with a chick because…reasons.
“That’s my boy”
….That angers me but I’m not sure why. The flirting fails but Buddy makes him try again with better words. He repeats these crazy words and….it works for reasons they actually do explain in a bit.
They hit off and then Buddy ditches him because he’s a crazy dick. So he just hangs out at her place while he tries to get in touch with Buddy. After a sex offer, he says he has a girlfriend and she gets all offended. It’s another really awkward and un-funny scene, let’s move on.
He gets back to Buddy so easily it makes that last bit pointless, and Buddy says he told Linda about that other girl. Because he’s a dick. …And it turns out that the girl was an Ex-Patient of his and he arranged all this to mess with him.
….Now that is messed up. And all cuz of the Mom “joke” from earlier? Seriously? Wouldn’t this make him angrier? What are you trying to prove?!
Dave, understandably, gets pissed and calls him out. This doesn’t effect him so it doesn’t even matter. Later, Buddy takes him to see Dave’s old school bully to confront him.
As it turns out, Arnie, played by John C Riley, is a monk now….Oh boy. He apologize for being such a jerk back in the day….but still finds the pants thing from the opening scene funny. Because he has to in order to justfit anything bad that happens to him.
Then Buddy says Dave made a crass joke about Budda, because he’s a dick. He also says he made a crack about Arnie’s isnane sister. As in, she was in an asylum insane….Now that is crossing the line, and if Buddy is put in the wrong, I will forgive it.
…Then Dave decides to play his game and claim he screwed his sister. ….Whatever, let’s just skim this stupid part. After the greatest monk fight ever put on film, the other monks get pissed and they run away.
….Well, that was a stunningly unfunny scene. The movie even treats it like it was good. I fail to see anything positive in pissing off someone who was at peace, just to finally get even. Oh no he finds out dick move funny, how horrible.
Off screen, Buddy explains to Linda what really happened and she seems to be okay with it despite Buddy being more insane than Arnie’s sister. She says Buddy her some advice, and Dave says she should follow it cuz it usually works.
1. No, it doesn’t.
2. His advice is for Linda and Dave to not see eachother for awhile. Something it strengthing their relationship or whatever. …Eh, I can see what he means but after all that crap, it sounds like him being a dick again.
Dave confronts him and starts to see his point. It’s just here for 3rd act drama. I can’t get too invested given what has happened and all that although it’s a good try.
But not long after, Dave hears about her making a date already, which doesn’t help her likability at all. So he goes with a fake date to spy on her, because this is now a Sitcom. The people he fake dates are those lesbians because….cheap titliation.
Anyway, none of that matters because I’m more focused on the fact that Linda’s date happens to be….Buddy. ….He’s the villain, right? Because anyone who pulls all the crap he does is just…a bad person. And linda has no problem with this, at all?!
Buddy claims he’s doing this to prevent Andrew from getting her, but there are easier ways to do this…or you could have told Dave beforehand so he doesn’t explode like this.
He says he will act boring so Linda will appreciate Dave more and go back to him quicker. Dave starts to get on board with it so…it’s okay now? I guess? They meet up after the date, and Buddy assures him that he did the right stuff by giving her a bad night….but they also kind of kissed, and after Budd gets a phone call…
“Linda and I have fallen for one another”
…I don’t care if he says he didn’t intend for this to happen…it’s still pretty horrible. Mostly cuz of Linda. We don’t see her POV here, or how hard it must have been. No, from where i’m standing, she just did this because she’s horrible.
Buddy says Linda did want Dave’s blessing first. His answer is to attack the guy who has been a horrible person this whole move. Not the greatest move but of course when he gets to court, they don’t see his semi-justified reasoning at all.
Instead of throwing him in jail, the just issue a restraining order so he can’t see Buddy or Linda. Wow, they better be a point to all this because it’s not even funny anymore.
But there’s no time to feel sad, because Dave is called into work and he finds out Frank the boss gave Andrew the job that he wanted.
“You’re behavior is unacceptable”
This causes to finally stop, and it’s actually pretty glorious. But we can’t focus on that, because we have a cliamx to get to. See, Dave had been planning to propose to Linda at a Yankee’s game.
Guess where Buddy is going to with her tonight.
Dave goes there and he is let onto the field because the sectuiry guard is the transvestite from earlier….Glad that returned. He tries by all romantic by taking a mic and pleading to her. Of course someone in power has to tell everyone to let Dave finish what he has to say.
Bassicaly, he says Buddy was right about Dave being angry, mostly at himself for letting people treat him like crap. He then proclaims his love and asks for marriage.
She says before she can say anything, he must kiss her in front of all these people….Yeah that opening kind of implied that it lead him to not like affection in front of others. It was explained well, as you can see.
He does so and it’s a big happy moment. Buddy even congratulates them. ….But then comes the big twist I’ve been sort of building up to. …But let’s wrap up the plot first, because I have stuff to say.
After the twist is revealed, they all have a pinic together. But a dude shows up angry at Buddy for trashing her car then leaving his card there, which I mgiht have skipped but it’s more evidence of Buddy being horrible.
It’s just a prank played by Dave though, which is less funny when I tell this angry guy pulled gun. Because Dave can be horrible too!
The movie ends with them singing I Feel Pretty ,which was that song from earlier. A weird ending to a weird movie.
Okay, reading to hear that twist? Listen to this:
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 Buddy’s friends.
..Yep, all of the stupid torture that Dave went through was part of some plan to get him to use anger better or some crap. ….I…just…what? There’s….so much wrong with this…but while I will go into detail blew, let me put it this way:
Instead of talking to him about this like normal people, they put him through tons of crap and did stuff that is pretty illegal….and it’s seen as a good thing and it is a brush off like a happy ending.
This movie was….average. Yeah, after all that, it’s just okay. Let me get the positives out first. The performances are pretty good, especially Sandler and Nicholson, there is some decent Comedy and I do like what they were trying to do with this one.
The ending is….a mixed bag. I do like the concept. Instead of Sandler playing yet another angry man child, he’s playing a guy repressing his anger and needs help dealing with it.
It’s a good idea and someone dealing with a crazy Anger Management teacher is also good….but those ideas don’t work together. Or at least that twists throws things himself. Yes, he needed help but not to this extent.
Putting him into Anger Management to get him to admit he’s angry is fine…not so much the rest. Dave was put under so much stress he attacked Buddy and even attacked a guy who was at peace.
How is that helping him at all? He could very well be put in jail for real over that, and Buddy did some crazy bad things of his own accord. I could see this working as a very dark Comedy but it has the dressing of an Adam Sandler film.
It just doesn’t work….but I can’t get mad because I do like the concept, and I even like that builds up. However, the Comedy is mostly lazy, the pacing is wonky, it’s too long, and it’s morality is all screwed up.
But it’s different from a typical Sandler movie and I like. I would have perfered to have him mix it up like this instead of making Blended or crap like that. I like what they were trying to do, it just didn’t pan out.
I suppose if you like something quite different, you’ll like it, but otherwise it’s just average with a few below average moments. You Tried.
Next time….well my brother’s birthday is coming up, so you know the drill.