Adam Sandler was a bit of a role model to me when I was growing up. His films for me, at the time, were quite cutting edge. I was about 14-16 years old at the time when I first came across his work -- Happy Gilmore. A rough cut ex hockey player turned professional golfer. He had an arm that could melt a golf shot over 400 Yards, and a temper that ended up with him getting in a fight with Bob barker in the Pro Am's.
Being the enthusiastic young golfer that I was, and knowing this behaviour is completely alien on the golf course, this film had me in hysterics. Like real hysterics. I grew up on the golf course and it's pretty much the opposite of what this film portrays. Quiet, full of serious players, and old men in plus fours. This behaviour, or anywhere near this behaviour is likely to get you kicked off the course -- even in just a regular game.
From this film I was hooked.
It was really Anger Management in 2003 that left me feeling like I had learned something. The first time I saw it was back in 2006 when I was going through some major changes in my life. I had just read a book called No More Mr Nice Guy, and it was from there that I realised I needed to reshape my journey.
The way I was raised had essentially started me off on the wrong foot when it came to dating. My mother had essentially raised me to be a little lapdog for women. Respect women! She would say. Don't treat women like your father did! The thing here is, there's no harm in teaching your son to respect women, however I didn't have a father around to balance those teachings out. So it was my mothers advice with nothing else I had to work with.
Queue at least 10 years of internal conflict with dating and keeping women. There was a lot of other stuff under the surface too, but the way I was raised was essentially in direct conflict to what women really wanted.
My dad was a man that was married and had at least three other women on the go. I guess she didn't want me turning into him. I can't fault her on that thinking.
Anyway, along came Anger Management and here was a guy that struggled with managing conflict in a healthy way. Good old Dave Buznik. He avoided conflict so much that the people around him just took massive leaps over his own boundaries, and as to not rock the boat he would just let them do it. It would drive his partner, Linda, around the fucking bend!
You see, good old Dave was a nice guy. A lot of people equate nice guys to losers that can't get women. Their name has moved over the years, you will probably know them now as beta's, cucks, or simps. There's a wide variety of names to these men, but essentially, deep down it's all to do with their poor ability to manage conflict. They are pushovers. They let people walk over their boundaries and set none with other people.
Obviously this comes with a great deal of lying to themselves and other people. An honest man has strong boundaries and isn't a pushover -- if you piss him off then he will tell you. That is honesty and being true to yourself. Generally people appreciate that (particularly women). You won't be friends with everyone, but you'll certainly make friends with the people that matter. This is what Dave didn't understand.
He just wanted the quiet life. He didn't really want to make any trouble for anyone.
You see, that's where Buddy Rydell came in. Instead of letting Dave take the easy option and not make any trouble, he backed him into a corner that no matter the circumstance he absolutely had to act on his situation. He gets into a fight with his old childhood nemesis for instance.
This teaches him that no matter how bad a situation he is in, it's probably not as bad as his brain makes it out to be. Now in the film the process lasted a couple of weeks, but in real life this process lasts years! I've lived through it myself.
This is what living in the present means. Something I've been through for the last twenty years, in a slow process of acting, rather than letting slide. Forcing myself into doing things I'm too scared to do - and most of the time it isn't bad at all.
Each year that passes I have a more silent nodding appreciation for this film. Not for just it's comedy, because let's be honest it's hilarious, but also its daring to tackle the problems that some men face -- this isn't the typical male hero film, but one of a man that's a cog in the wheel of society that makes himself the hero of his own story. Which I expect most people would want to aspire to.
Most of Adam Sandler's movies around this time inspired me in some form.