Last night I rewatched the 2003 film Anger Management starring Jack Nicholson and Adam Sandler. I’ve not seen it in many years, despite frequently referencing it, both for the “goosfraba” and I Feel Pretty scenes. There were quite a few things I had forgotten about the film - firstly how overwhelming American the whole experience was. I felt like I’d lived in Brooklyn my entire life by the end of it. Secondly, now I am older and less ignorant of these things, there are a lot of jokes that are punching down and would be completely unacceptable today - it’s an upsetting reminder of quite how acceptable they were in 2003. Thirdly, and most importantly, this film has a cast far better than it deserves; obviously Jack Nicholson is one of the greatest of all time, and I’d forgotten Marisa Tomei was in it, but it also has Woody Harrelson, Heather Graham and January Jones in, as well as… Rudy Giuliani. He even has a few lines! Except this was Rudy Giuliani when he was Time-person-of-the-year, charismatic-man-of-the-people, mayor-who-united-America-in-the-wake-of-9-11 Rudy Giuliani, not hair-dye-dripping-down-face, Four-Seasons-Total-Landscaping-press-conference-having, hands-down-pants-with-15-year-old-in-Borat Rudy Giuliani. And that was weird, because I’d forgotten about the first Rudy Giuliani, and he caught me totally off guard. He certainly would make an interesting case study in how far one can fall from grace.
Incidentally, I can no longer think about Rudy Giuliani without seeing Kate McKinnon’s uncanny portrayal of him on SNL.