April 11, 2003
Ever since his early days as Stud Boy on MTV's Remote Control, Adam Sandler has been making people laugh. Sure, it's not a brand of humor that works for everyone, but it has been enough to make him a box-office draw worthy of a $20 million-per-film paycheck. Despite the misstep of 2000's Little Nicky, he remains one of the more in-demand name actors in Hollywood, with four different films currently scheduled for theatrical release over the course of a year. He'll follow up Mr. Deeds, Paul Thomas Anderson's Punch-Drunk Love and the animated 8 Crazy Nights with what looks to be a tent-pole release for Revolution Studios and Columbia/Sony: Anger Management.
Sandler's character is named Dave Buznik, a timid, mild-mannered businessman who is wrongly sentenced to an anger management program. There, he meets an ultra-aggressive instructor who certainly does not practice what he preaches, and may be the one guy who can make Dave actually lose control.
In what has to be considered a casting coup, the part of anger management instructor Buddy Rydell will be played by none other than three-time Academy Award® winner Jack Nicholson. He was truly the dream choice for Sandler and Revolution's Joe Roth, who waited well over a month for the veteran actor to read and consider the script before he finally agreed to a deal. The comedy should offer the two men plenty of opportunities to play off their apparent conflicting personalities, a prospect that on paper looks extremely intriguing and promising.
Two lovely ladies of cinema will also be featured in the film. Recent Oscar® nominee Marisa Tomei will play Sandler's love interest, while Heather Graham appears as a woman named Kendra who Buznik encounters when he is out with his psycho instructor. O Brother, Where Art Thou?'s John Turturro, who also has a part in Sandler's Mr. Deeds, has a supporting role.
Veteran comedy director Peter Segal (Nutty Professor II, Tommy Boy) had a $56 million budget to play with, thanks to both Sandler and Nicholson agreeing to salaries lower than their normal asking price. Filming began in April of 2002 from a script by David Dorfman, and took place in Los Angeles, Boston and New York City.
Anger Management has all the ingredients of a comedy hit, and thanks to the presence of Nicholson, has an additional element most Sandler films cannot boast: multi-generational demographics. Here's hoping the chemistry between the two makes for a hilarious combination. (Kim Hollis/BOP)
Vital statistics for Anger Management
Adam Sandler, Jack Nicholson, Marisa Tomei
Luis Guzman, Jonathan Loughran, Kurt Fuller, Krista Allen, January Jones, John Turturro, Lynne Thigpen, Woody Harrelson, Kevin Nealon, Heather Graham
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Comparison films for Anger Management
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|Happy Gilmore *