Jack Nicholson Month #3 Anger Management, A Few Good Men

Anger Management, 2003

Dave Buznik (Adam Sendler) has gone through numerous frustrations during his life, with his boss mistreating him, and his girlfriend still being very close to her ex. However, all of these frustrations will culminate when he is wrongly accused of assaulting a flight attendant, which brings him to anger management therapy, with the ever-resourceful Buddy Rydell (Jack Nicholson).

Apart from Sandler and Nicholson, this witty comedy is starring Marisa Tomei, as Dave’s girlfriend Linda, John Turturo as another of Buddy’s patients and Woody Harrelson as Galaxia, a transvestite. It was directed by Peter Segal, who also did 50 First Dates (2004) and The Longest Yard (2005) afterwards, so he got pretty used to working with Sandler.

The first thing I noticed while watching this movie was the unadulterated chemistry going on between Nicholson and Sandler. There’s practically never a dull moment with their characters’ ongoing pranks, especially on Buddy’s part. It is a great slapstick comedy that kept me laughing hard for the most part. It goes without saying that this is even more so, since I am a huge Jack Nicholson fan. This is why for me, he was somewhat dominant in regard to Sandler, because there is practically nothing Jack can’t do using his facial expression, so this goes for portraying the nutty doctor too. In his role as a therapist he was inherited by Charlie Sheen, in a TV series adaptation, starting from 2012. Another remarkable thing about this film is Woody Harrelson as Galaxia, a German-born transvestite. Hilarious!

A Few Good Men, 1992

Two Marines, Harold Dawson and Louden Downey, are accused of murdering a fellow Marine, not very competent, William Santiago at Guantanamo Bay, even though Colonel Nathan Jessup (Jack Nicholson) was to decide on Santiago’s transfer to another base. In the course of court martial, the two are defended by a new and aspiring military lawyer, Daniel Kaffee (Tom Cruise), rather than the experienced Lieutenant Commander JoAnne Galloway (Demi Moore), who is to assist him.

The great cast of the film does not end with Nicholson, Cruise and Moore, since Kevin Bacon, J. T. Walsh and Kiefer Sutherland appear in supporting roles. It was directed by Rob Reiner, also an actor, who directed When Harry met Sally (1989), Misery (1990) and worked with Nicholson on another occasion in The Bucket List (2007).

There are numerous strong points to this film, in truth. It is very compelling, from the very beginning, as we embark on a journey of finding justice and truth. The storyline is amazing, with developed characters, one of the most interesting being that of Kaffee, who successfully balances his boyish side only interested in playing softball and the remarkable dedication with which he handles the court martial. But the lines make this movie, which had four Oscar nominations at the time, so amazing. Whenever Jessup appears I get scared, so outstanding and remarkable is Jack’s performance actually. He was very deserving of his Oscar nomination for the best actor in a supporting role. And of course, I will forever remember his best line, ”You can’t handle the truth.’’


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