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ANGER MANAGEMENT

About The Production
"What made the idea of Anger Management so funny to me," says screenwriter David Dorfman, "was to start with the last guy in the world you'd ever think would need anger management and then pair him with a therapist who makes him angry."

The true test of such a concept, he concedes, is whether the story can maintain the cleverness of its initial premise. The script for Anger Management passed that test, according to the film's star and executive producer Adam Sandler. When Revolution Studios founder Joe Roth asked him to read the script, Sandler says he picked it up and "I immediately liked the title and knew I needed some in real life, so I figured I should at least take a look. Then I read it and I was laughing. And I just kept going and it didn't let me down."

The reason Dorfman's screenplay worked so well, explains Revolution Studios partner Todd Garner, also an executive producer on the film, is that it used humor to get under the skin of a real issue and not merely for the sake of generating some good gags. "At its core, it's about a man who's having a tough time expressing himself and another man who comes into his life and helps him deal with that," says Garner.

In his writing, Dorfman says he took care to make the therapy as unusual as the disease. "Doctor Buddy Rydell (Jack Nicholson) makes Dave (Sandler) do all the things he hates. He puts him through every possible comedic nightmare, which finally forces Dave to take action in order to survive. In the end Dave is cured, but in an unexpected way."

Among the indignities Dave must suffer to rid himself of his pent-up anger are group sessions with a decidedly eccentric bunch of men and women who also suffer from anger control issues, confronting a childhood tormentor, being propositioned by a transvestite, singing "I Feel Pretty" on the Queensboro bridge during rush hour and shacking up with Doctor Buddy, who proves to be a disruptive and demanding roommate.

"Doctor Buddy keeps pushing Dave's buttons to see how long he can go without snapping," says Sandler. "Basically he's trying to get him to come out of his shell."

"Buddy puts Dave through a series of tests," says Anger Management director Peter Segal, "through which he confronts his demons and graduates to the next level. The reason Buddy exposes him to all these things is to get him to overcome them and emerge a better person."

Somehow this oddball treatment works and Dave's life actually improves, though he's never sure exactly how he got there, observes Garner. "The humor flows from an unorthodox vein," says Garner, "but by the end, Dave really has broken through, which makes the story all the more satisfying."

That undertow of reality, however skewed, brought energy to the film's comedic possibilities, according to Segal. "The script really sucks you in because, when you start out, you don't think there's anything wrong with Dave Buznik (Sandler)," says Segal. "He seems innocent and trapped. He doesn't seem to deserve his fate."

But when anger management specialist Doctor Buddy Rydell (Jack Nicholson) enters Dave's life, the story evolves in completely unexpected ways. "Buddy provokes Dave to g

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