BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Programmes: Newsnight: Review  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Monday, 9 June, 2003, 11:31 GMT 12:31 UK
Anger Management
Jack Nicholson in Anger Management
Newsnight Review discussed Jack Nicholson's lessons on keeping your temper in Anger Management.


(Edited highlights of the panel's review taken from the teletext subtitles that are generated live for Newsnight Review.)

PAUL MORLEY:
This is a stupid, silly, sloppy, soppy, sickly sentimental, awful film. I neglected last week, reviewing Ripley's Game, to mention that John Malkovich in that was like the missing link between Niles from Frasier and Charlie Manson. In this, Jack Nicholson is the missing link between Jack Nicholson and Jack Nicholson. That can be OK in some films, but this is so appalling. It's one of Jack's worst choices. I hope he got paid an awful lot of money. It's one of those films where you can see actors being pushed into their schedules, so they can deal with the film. They're all playing comedians to Sandler's straight man. You get John Turturro and John C Reilly. You get Luis Guzman, Heather Graham, Harry Dean Stanton. Really good actors and actresses, all coming in for their notional cameos. You see the whole thing's stitched together. There's a notional story about Nicholson somehow curing Sandler, but effectively, you just see the whole thing put together. The ending, when they all dance around in Central Park, like some kind of Ecstasy casualties, really makes you hate Hollywood so much that you do end up needing your own anger management.

MARK LAWSON:
It starts off with this rather brave line in the seat on the plane, where the stewardess says "This is a difficult time for this country." It's as if they're actually daring to send up September 11 sensitivity, racial sensitivity, even send up therapy. Then it becomes this rather trashy, gross-out comedy.

BONNIE GREER:
What troubles me more than this terrible film is Nicholson. I suspect he has been having us on for about 20 years, since The Shining. I think the man has decided which way Hollywood is going. He's going for the money. It's disgusting to see the things he's been doing for the last couple of years.

MARK LAWSON:
The Pledge, About Schmidt. Those are not trashy, Hollywood films, are they?

BONNIE GREER:
If you look at his films and you lay them out, this is a guy who is demonstrating for us. "I can play this, watch me do this." I don't believe him any more as an actor. This is the crowning glory of his cynicism. I thought the film was so disgusting.

PAUL MORLEY:
It's like saying, "I can play against this guy."

BONNIE GREER:
In his next film, he'll play Mother Teresa, just to show us that he can do all these different things.

MARK LAWSON:
I think that's harsh. I think in The Pledge and About Schmidt he'd shown that he could do different performances. He now, it's true, has gone back to his default psychopath.

NITIN SAWHNEY:
If you compare Sandler and Nicholson against, for instance, Stiller and Robert De Niro in Meet the Parents, I think there's a very derivative scene, on this plane. It looks almost like a straight copy of Ben Stiller in an almost identical situation on the plane, which was a hell of a lot funnier, and a lot better played out. It quite sad to watch. It's just such a bad film, it's hard and painful for me to watch Jack Nicholson get more and more embarrassed as he's laying these very contrived lines out, especially when he keeps threatening to send Adam Sandler back to prison. Each time he says it, it sounds more and more painful for him to say those lines.

MARK LAWSON:
In its defence, it is a mess this film, but there are smart lines. But then something very odd happens. At the end, we have former Mayor Giuliani. Although this film has been trashed, a lot of people are going to write about this, because it's so specifically post-September 11th. Mayor Giuliani stands up, we are in Yankee Stadium, and gives this message to the people of New York.

NITIN SAWHNEY:
Every time they do something like that, it's like when John McEnroe makes his cameo appearance. You think, first of all, "OK, it's a fairly amusing idea." Then they actually let the man out, which is really a bad move. It completely ruins the joke.

See also:

14 Apr 03 | Entertainment
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


 E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Review stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes