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Movie Review: "Anger Management"

For a while, you're thinking that everyone in this movie is totally insane, except for Adam Sandler, who plays an executive assistant who, through a bizarre series of coincidences, winds up in anger management therapy with Dr. Buddy Rydell, played manicly by Jack Nicholson, whose hair has never been wilder. This is Sandler's second "mainstream" role, after "Punch-Drunk Love", which I didn't really like, and this role definitely shows Sandler's maturing as an actor, and his range is definitely widening.

Totally insane, incidentally, was the woman taking tickets -- the first person who has ever prevented us from bringing "outside food" into a movie theater. OK, I know you're not supposed to, but who doesn't? What was even weirder was that she followed us out the door to make sure we were putting it in the car.

Maybe that was just supposed to get us ready for this movie, which features cameos from a number of well-known New Yorkers, including Rudy Giuliani, Derek Jeter and Roger Clemens. Everyone seems nuts, from Sandler's boss, to a courtroom judge and lawyers, to his friends. There's some crude sexual humor which at first is subtly funny, but after a while gets sophomoric and juvenile.

It definitely seems like all it's set up for is cheap laughs, of which I admit there are plenty, until the ending does neatly sum up everything. Marisa Tomei is sweet and cute as Sandler's girlfriend, and Heather Graham plays an uncredited small role as "Kendra", a girl who, among other things, wears an, uh, interesting Boston Red Sox uniform. Nope, I'm not telling you what it is. Go see the movie, and you'll also see an almost unrecognizable Woody Harrelson in a role -- well, you have to see this to believe it.

It's not the world's greatest film, but it's worth seeing if for nothing else, the sight of Nicholson and Sandler singing a duet of "I'm So Pretty" from "West Side Story".

AYRating: ** 1/2