In the latest mindless Adam Sandler flick, Sandler plays the mild-mannered one, for a bit of a change. To juxtapose Sandler, Jack Nicholson, yes 3-time Oscar winner, Jack Nicholson, plays a psychotic “Anger Management” therapist named Dr. Buddy Rydel, who moves in with Dave Buznik (Sandler) after he “goes psycho” on a flight attendant. Apparently, Buznik was de-pantsed (new word) as a child, leaving him meek, weak, and in a dead-end job designing clothes for fat cats–not high rollers, overweight pets. Poor Dave is a shy mess, opting to shake hands with his girlfriend (Marisa Tomei) in public rather than giving her a kiss.
The movie really is pretty funny, for a mindless movie, but then again, as Sandler’s target audience, I laugh when blind people have tennis balls thrown at them. The main problem is there is no plot, at all. Usually Sandler’s characters have some sort of goal–to say, win back their house for their grandmother by playing golf in a humorous fashion, or to prove to their father that they can run a company by completing 1st through 12th grades again–but there is no conflict, no motivation, no reason for any of it. It’s just there, it just happens, there’s no point. I’m not saying that other Sandler movies have a point, but they usually have at least a stupid plot, there isn’t one here.
One thing this movie does have, is a lot of scary celebrity cameos. As if Jack Nicholson and Marisa Tomei weren’t good enough co-stars, the movie features cameos by everyone from Heather Graham to Bobby Knight. It also features Woody Harrelson in drag, which is a revolting sight to see indeed. After a while, the cameos become a bit much, it becomes a sort of “WHAT NEXT?” ordeal.
The movie has some classic supporting character performances, including Luis Guzman as Lou, the gay Latino with a rage problem, who sports a festive question-mark goatee. Kevin Nealon also appears as a tennis-ball chucking lawyer, who steals some particularly funny scenes.
You should enjoy the movie if you have liked Sandler’s past films, but if you didn’t–avoid Anger Management like the plague. Nicholson’s character can become pretty annoying at times, you can only take so much of Jacko at full blast, and he’s pretty much at 110% from the beginning. Somebody slip him another valiuum.