Director: Peter Segal
Writing credits: David Dorfman
Starring Adam Sandler, Jack Nicholson and Marisa Tomei
Anger isn't the most socially acceptable human emotion, but it is
natural—and even necessary—according to the American
Psychological Association. Whether anger is triggered by external events
such as traffic jams, or by internal worrying, researchers are still
unsure if it's healthier to express or suppress the emotion. It does
become a problem, however, when frequent bouts of uncontrollable anger
lead to inappropriate lashing out.
It is in this second instance that “Anger Management”
finds comedic fodder. Funnyman Adam Sandler plays Dave Buznik, a
soft-spoken businessman sentenced to undergo anger management therapy
after raising his voice on an airplane. He is turned over to Buddy Rydell
(Jack Nicholson), an unorthodox psychologist whose own inability to
control anger threatens to push his normally mild-mannered client over
A far from serious look at anger's sources and treatments, the
movie instead parodies our oversensitive society's urge to classify every
emotional outburst as a syndrome requiring a quick-fix pill or therapy.
And contrary to the popular portrayal of an angry individual as raging
and destructive, not all anger is overt: Chronic irritability and social
withdrawal are also common symptoms.
For anger-control tips, go to www.apa.org/pubinfo/anger.html. Silly
humor is just one suggested rage defuser; all the more reason to catch
Originally showcased at the off-Broadway Flea Theater in New York
City, “The Guys” was written in 2001 by journalist Anne
Nelson and based on her experience of September 11. Now on the big
screen, actress Sigourney Weaver, real-life wife of director Jim Simpson,
plays the lead character, Joan, who is approached by Nick (Anthony
LaPaglia), a fire captain, for help in writing eulogies for his lost men.
Amidst the pair's quiet, somber moments occur lighter, sincere
interactions, offering brief levity and a reminder of laughter's healing
capabilities. A eulogy in and of itself, “The Guys'”
portrayal of overcoming grief may help moviegoers do the same.
Director: Nick Willing
Hypnotism was an amazement in 1772 when Franz Mesmer, an Austrian
physician, first “mesmerized” patients for curative purposes.
Today it's the focus of a new psychological thriller starring Goran
Visnjic as Dr. Michael Strother, a hypnotherapist with mind-reading
Loosely based on Madison Smartt Bell's Doctor Sleep,
“Hypnotic” follows Strother's hunt for a serial killer. Clues
about the murderer, who attacks and renders one woman mute, are buried in
the victim's mind, and it's Strother's task to draw them out through
But how often does trauma really leave a victim speechless?
“It's very rare,” says Joanne Marrow, Ph.D., a professor at
California State University at Sacramento. She suggests that most fully
functioning adults with a strong support system can confide in a loved
one. This is not to say that “Hypnotic” won't be
“There's a lot of mystery around hypnotism,” says
Marrow, “it's a voodoo kind of thing.”