Click (2006)
Click (2006)

Genre: Comedy and Fantasy Running Time: 1 hr. 47 min.

Release Date: June 23rd, 2006 MPAA Rating: PG-13

Director: Frank Coraci Actors: Adam Sandler, Kate Beckinsale, Christopher Walken, David Hasselhoff, Henry Winkler, Julie Kavner, Sean Astin, Jonah Hill, Katie Cassidy, Jennifer Coolidge

 


 

E

ven though “Click” centers on a thoroughly ridiculous idea, it still manages to be an engaging and often surprisingly poignant endeavor. Adam Sandler is as funny as always (which is a statement that varies with individual preference for his humor), there are plenty of silly supporting characters, Kate Beckinsale is still gorgeous, and Christopher Walken entertains no matter what he’s required to say or do. But despite amusing pranks, sexual deviancy, and intermittent slapstick, the screenplay possesses just enough lulls that “Click” will surely leave audience memories as soon as the lights in the theater turn back on.

Michael Newman (Adam Sandler) is an overworked architect who never seems to have any time for his wife (Kate Beckinsale) or two children. He’s put his career before his loved ones – but, highlighting the poor tradeoff, a combination of picky clients and an egotistical boss (David Hasselhoff) ensures that his level of job devotion won’t be paying off anytime soon. So when an important assignment interferes with his previously planned Fourth of July outing with his family, Michael has finally had enough – but rather than quitting, he begs the Almighty for a break.

His prayer is inexplicably answered when Morty (Christopher Walken), an eccentric employee of the “Beyond” section of a famous bedroom supply store, gives him a truly universal remote control. Morty warns that its powers shouldn’t be taken for granted and that, once accepted, it is non-returnable – but Michael doesn’t heed the advice, as he’s desperate to fix the inconveniences in his life. At first, he only uses the magical device in moderation, for things like quieting the family dog (the mute button), skipping fights with his wife (fast-forwarding), or deriving satisfaction from messing with the bratty neighbor kid. But eventually, it’s Michael who learns a harsh lesson about life’s brevity as the remote programs itself to automatically zip through any events similar to the ones he’s already skipped.

While the premise certainly lends itself to several hilarious moments, it plays continual havoc with the suspension of disbelief. Even if viewers can laugh at each progressively more immature joke, the editing and scripting continually bring to the forefront the fiction of the piece and its status as a mere movie. Immersive entertainment this is not. And, later in the film, when the mood becomes far more serious, the plot holes become ever more apparent.

No one goes to an Adam Sandler vehicle expecting realism; many of his projects all involve either supernaturalism or concepts that circumvent sensible human maturation (including “Little Nicky,” “Billy Madison,” and “The Waterboy”). “Click” is no exception, as everything one might expect from a Sandler comedy is abundantly present here, from children cursing to dogs abusing stuffed animals to big-breasted women jogging in slow-motion. And, on the unexpected side, there are even a few random, intelligent comedic outbursts scattered throughout.

At its heart, “Click” does contain a sincere moral lesson, even if the structuring and plot occasionally fail to play by their own rules. But, once the major conflict is introduced, the film seems to struggle through cliched conundrums and typical Hollywood fantasy solutions to dig itself out of the hole it created. Even though everything works out tidily, or finds resolution through simple jokes, there’s still a bit of fun to the nonsense that makes this a more palatable entry in Sandler’s largely childish filmography.

– Joel Massie

  • 6/10