Saturday, 9 March 2019

Movie Review: Click (2006)


A social fantasy comedy with lessons about life, Click provides passable humour and some genuine warmth despite the predictable message fare.

Michael Newman (Adam Sandler) is an architect working hard to impress his insufferable boss John Ammer (David Hasselhoff), but at the expense of neglecting his wife Donna (Kate Beckinsale) and two kids Ben and Samantha. Michael also has little time for his parents Theodore and Trudy (Henry Winkler and Julie Kavner), and believes all his hard work will pay off when he is promoted to partner, but in the meantime life is passing him by.

Michael goes shopping for a universal remote control, and eccentric salesperson Morty (Christopher Walken) gives him a brand new unit for free, on the condition that it cannot be returned. Michael discovers that with this remote control he can mute and pause those around him, and fast forward through tedious parts of his life including chores and arguments, jumping ahead to trouble-free and pain-free moments of success. But soon the remote control starts acting on its own based on memorizing Michael's previous wishes, and he loses control of his life.

Mixing familiar elements from movies as diverse as It's A Wonderful Life, Groundhog Day and The Family Man, Click is unambiguous about pushing the message of life as a journey, not a destination. By the standards of Adam Sandler, this is a reasonably controlled and well-packaged effort, mixing his trademark juvenile bathroom humour with plenty of moments lamenting the personal fallout from the single-minded drive to achieve perceived career success.

Beyond the family-first mantra, the film's other theme is simple but also eternal: personal and professional life is a mix of good and bad, and there is no joy to be had in moments of triumph without the effort to get there.

For all the message-heavy emphasis, the crassness demanded by Sandler's fans is still here: director Frank Coraci delivers a succession of dogs dry-humping a large stuffed toy throughout the film. Farts in the face stand proudly alongside kicks in the nuts and pull-down-the-trousers antics to satisfy the child brains in the audience.

But proving again that when surrounded by enough talent on both sides of the camera Sandler can do better, Click also seeks out tender moments of reflection and sorrowful hindsight between fathers and sons. It's not subtle and the performances err on the obnoxious side (Walken and Hasselhoff the prime culprits), but Michael's fantastical adventure with the magical remote control has its heart in the right place.






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