The Hollywood mis-marketing machine strikes again! Touted as a signature Adam Sandler comedy in the trailers, Click is actually a heavy-handed drama that uses up its comedy points in the first thirty minutes. Those going in expecting Happy Gilmore Gets A Remote will be gravely disappointed. That’s not to say the film is bad, because it’s not, but when you get right down to it all it really has to offer is a new, albeit timeless, take on an old premise, some nifty visual effects, and Christopher Walken with frizzy hair.
Sandler is Michael Newman, an overworked architect who can barely even spare a second to spend some time with his wife, Donna (Beckinsale), and two children. I’m sorry, but if you can’t make time to slip between the sheets with Kate Beckinsale, I don’t even want to know you. Anyways, one night Michael gets fed up because he can’t even figure out how to turn on his own television and heads out of the house to buy a universal remote. He winds up at Bed, Bath, and Beyond and soon learns that the door marked “Beyond” leads to the lair of Morty (Walken), a “Doc Brown”-style scientist. Upon hearing of Michael’s search for a universal remote, Morty gives him a blue remote with a screen that makes cool shapes. Michael takes it home and discovers that not only can it turn the TV on, but he can literally fast forward through and mute the aspects of life that annoy him most. That must be the greatest thing ever, right?
Click plays up to the Sandler crowd in its opening act, complete with outbursts, cussing kids, slapstick, and farts. The final two acts, however, are a different story. The narrative takes Michael on an It’s A Wonderful Life-esque journey as he sees himself separate from his family and in general become miserable. Some of the scenes in this film are as dramatic as any I’ve seen this year, which I’m sure few will be expecting. I even noticed a few wet eyes in the crowd during one climactic scene. The average moviegoer will likely either feel misled or be pleasantly surprised.
I felt both. In this mile-a-minute world we live in we often lose track of what is truly important. The main culprit of this is, of course, work. It is sad and unfortunate that parents have to miss their kid’s swim meet to stay late or else risk losing their job. “Work to live, not live to work” rarely applies anymore. Click brings the consequences of this to light and it’s a sobering reminder that the most important things in life are not jobs, cars, or money, but rather the people who are closest to us. On that note, the film succeeds handily.
The performances are solid as well as fun. Sandler once again gets to display his range as an actor, which is notably wide than most people think. Few saw Punch Drunk Love, but here Sandler again pulls off the dramatic in winning fashion. Christopher Walken, whom we all know by now kicks any film he is in up a few notches, is clearly eating up the role of Morty. His comic timing is brilliant as usual. Kate Beckinsale is given next to nothing to do other than be disappointed in Michael, but her scenes late in the film are effective. David Hasselhoff is thrown in solely for the “point-and-laugh” reaction he gets no matter what he does.
Click is a bit of a mixed bag but should not be cropped in with Sandler’s other brainless comedies. It is, on the whole, a bittersweet film that is sometimes hard to laugh at when it wants us to, but the message is there. Recommended for those, especially, who take family for granted.
Studio: Columbia Pictures
Length: 98 Minutes
Rating: PG-13 for language, crude and sex-related humor, and some drug references.
Theatrical Release: June 23, 2006
Directed by: Frank Coraci
Written by: Steve Koren & Mark O’Keefe.
Cast: Adam Sandler, Kate Beckinsale, Christopher Walken, David Hasselhoff, Henry Winkler, Julie Kavner