Anger Management [2003]

The irresistible pairing of Jack Nicholson and Adam Sandler is the best reason to see Anger Management, a comedy that might loosely be called The Funny and the Furious. Nicholson and especially Sandler have screen personas that partially rely on pent-up anxieties, so there's definite potential in teaming them as a mild-mannered designer of pet clothing for chubby cats (Sandler) who's been ordered to undergo anger-management therapy with a zany counselor (Nicholson) prone to occasional tantrums and devious manipulation. Surely this meandering comedy looked better on the page; director Peter Segal scores a few lucky scenes (particularly Sandler's encounter with a Buddhist monk, played by John C. Reilly), but a flood of cameos (Heather Graham, Woody Harrelson, Rudolph Giuliani, and others) can't match the number of laughs that fall flat. As Sandler's understanding girlfriend, Marisa Tomei plays a pivotal role in a happy ending that leaves everyone smiling, with the possible exception of the audience. --Jeff Shannon

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