In the time before cell phones and MP3 players, households had one remote control: the youngest or weakest member of the family who was directed to walk over to the set and change the channel using the manual dial. Today however, virtually everything electronic comes with its own remote which can be overwhelming, a problem that busy architect and occasional family man Michael Newman knows only too well. Tired of perpetually digging through a mountain of remotes Michael sets out in search of a universal remote, and discovers one that allows him to control not only his electronic devices, but also everything else in his personal universe. But he soon learns that when you fast forward through the commercials, you always risk missing some of the main feature.
You never mentioned that it also gave me access to 24 hour porn.
In spite of Adam Sandler’s reliance on fart jokes and moronic behaviour to get laughs he has demonstrated that he’s not a one trick pony (think Punch Drunk Love or 50 First Dates). Based on the trailers for "Click", I went in expecting a light-hearted comedy with the possibility of a semi-serious lesson extolling the virtues of appreciating what we have. Once again I was partly right.
The first third of the movie focuses on Michael’s adventures with his newfound toy and I must admit that I enjoyed watching him rewind to formative moments in his childhood, fast forwarding through fights, muting people he doesn’t like and slowing down “scenes” so he can better appreciate them. Who doesn’t wish they could do that? Of course I’d be focusing on getting this week’s lottery numbers (I’d give some of the winnings to one of those starving orphan charities, honest…).
These are by far the movie’s best moments: Sandler is at his comedic best and there is a sincerity that creeps through especially in several of his scenes with Kate Beckinsale (who plays his wife Donna). I for one am heartily in favour of any scene that calls for Beckinsale to don leather (please excuse me while I wipe the drool off my keyboard). Henry Winkler and Julie Kavner also provide an amusing distraction as Michael’s doting parents (although it’s kind of eerie to see them as a young couple – whether it’s due to makeup or morphing , the efforts to “youthify” them make them look like wax figures). David “The Hass” Hassellhoff meanwhile nails his role as the dink boss – who among us hasn’t wanted to deliver a little cubicle justice? And then there is Christopher Walken, who always delights, especially when doing a comedy. Undoubtedly it sounds pretty good until about the 30 minute mark when the plot suddenly takes a sudden, nasty turn.
For roughly 50 minutes the audience is subjected to ever increasing misery: while Michael spends his time obsessing over his career, ignoring his family and growing increasingly wretched, Donna becomes a shrieking shrew (not that you could really blame her). Instead of trying to play these scenes for laughs (a little hyperbole can go a long way), the story wallows in the characters’ bitterness - oh yeah, funny stuff. And just when you’ve reached the point where you can’t stomach another minute of Michael’s drudgery, the writers throw in a cheap twist in a pathetic attempt to create an “It’s A Wonderful Life” denouement. Although the last ten minutes are enjoyable, they simply can’t make up for the preceding train wreck.
In spite of some truly funny scenes at the beginning, and enjoyable performances, Click’s mixture of mean-spiritedness and syrupy treacle ruined what should have been a good night out. Once word of mouth makes the rounds, not even Sandler’s brand name popularity will bring in the viewers.