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Overall Rating
2.28

Awesome: 8.25%
Worth A Look: 8.25%
Average: 13.4%
Pretty Bad43.3%
Total Crap: 26.8%

9 reviews, 43 user ratings


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Click
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by Peter Sobczynski

"The control, fine. Did the comedy have to be remote as well?"
2 stars

“Click” is a film in which Adam Sandler tries to have it all and watches horror-struck as it all horribly backfires on him. Strangely enough, that also serves as a handy description for the film itself. One the one hand, we have the Sandler who would like to leave the juvenile stuff behind for more ambitious fare that would allow him to stretch himself as an actor. On the other hand, he also knows that the vast majority of his audience overwhelmingly prefers to see him doing the same old schtick over and over again. In “Click,” he tries to bring both of these audiences together with a shlock comedy/whimsical fantasy combo platter that yearns to be considered an equal to “It’s a Wonderful Life” and deserves to be–provided, of course, that we are talking about that TV remake with Marlo Thomas.<

In the film, Sandler plays Michael Newman, a rising young architect with rage issues so severe that it is a wonder that he hasn’t landed either on a shrink’s couch for therapy or a hospital bed with a stroke. However, his real problem, according to the film, is that he is just too busy with work to spend quality time with improbably hot wife Donna (Kate Beckinsale), his children or his parents (Henry Winkler and Julie Kavner). While searching for a universal remote for his television, Michael enters the “Beyond” section of Bed, Bath and Beyond and meets Morty, a weirdo inventor played, almost inevitably, by Christopher Walken. Morty presents Michael with a brand-new, state-of-the-art universal remote that, he claims, will serve as the answer to all of his problems. Later that night, Michael discovers just how “universal” the contraption is when he points it at his barking dog (why?) and manages to both reduce his volume and fast-forward through his nasty business outside.

Before long, Michael realizes that this remote allows him to treat his entire life as one giant DVD (complete with commentary tracks) through which he can immediately access past highlights and fast-forward through the less interesting stuff–boring family dinners, the waiting periods before promotions and fights with the wife–to get to the good parts. The problem kicks in when the remote starts acting intuitively and begins fast-forwarding thorugh all such moments, whether he wants to or not. Before long, Michael is hurtling through the years to see the consequences of spending more time at work than at home has wrought in an orgy of tearful recriminations, heartfelt speeches and outlandish Rick Baker make-up designs, including one that turns Adam Sandler into a 400-lb fatty for no other reason that someone thought it would be funny to see Sandler in a fat suit.

The message of the film, of course, is that people should devote less of their lives to such pesky concerns as work and more to camping trips with the family. It would appear that screenwriters Steve Koren & Mark O’Keefe decided to take that sentiment to heart and instead of coming up with a plausible and interesting storyline, they have instead whipped up a minor variation on their last screenplay for a broad-sketch-comedian-plays-God-and-learns-a-lesson, the Jim Carrey drag “Bruce Almighty.” Like that film, “Click” takes a premise that could theoretically work as a high-tech variation of an old Frank Capra film (imagine what someone like Charlie Kaufman could have done with such a concept) and runs it into the ground with crude slapstick (including a painfully unfunny running gag involving a bratty neighbor kid that starts off badly and quickly goes nowhere) and cruder sentiment (including a maudlin sequence in which Michael gets to weepily re-experience a fast-forwarded moment that turned out to be his last encounter with a soon-to-be-deceased loved one). Part of the problem is that the blend of the slapstick and sentiment never come close to meshing–those in the mood for a simple fantasy are likely to be put off by the low humor (including repeated shots of a dog humping a stuffed dog, Sean Astin in a thong and Rob Schneider as an Arab) and those in the mood for an unapologetically dopey Sandler laugh riot are likely to be extremely annoyed by a final third that plunges into the kind of mawkish territory that one usually associates with the low points of the Jerry Lewis telethon or the current work of Robin Williams.

What makes “Click” especially dispiriting is the inescapable fact that Adam Sandler has outgrown the kind of juvenile material that he is offering up here with little noticeable enthusiasm. Although he is a favorite critical punching bag, he has in the past shown ambitions towards doing more than silly slapstick–his performance in “Punch Drunk Love” was legitimately wonderful, his work in “Spanglish” was probably the most credible aspect of that film and even though “Anger Management” turned out to be nothing special, it at least demonstrated a willingness to work with people on a higher talent plane than the college buddies that he usually prefers to hang with. At this point in his career, he doesn’t need to lower himself to sequences in which he runs over the toy robot belonging to an annoying kid or repeatedly breaks wind in the face of David Hasselhoff–that’s the kind of Level One material best left for the Happy Madison projects that he executive-produces to keep pals like Rob Schneider and Nick Swardson off the street and in beer money. As for the more dramatic scenes, he is let down because instead of having a strong director like Paul Thomas Anderson or James L. Brooks to coach a disciplined performance out of him, he is being handled by longtime cohort Frank Coraci, the auteur behind “The Wedding Singer” and “The Waterboy” and a man who clearly knows who is signing his paychecks–while a real filmmaker would have toned down the weepy histrionics that he indulges in during the final third, Coraci’s attitude seems to be to allow Sandler to do whatever he wants without ever raising an objection. Coraci’s relative indifference extends to the supporting cast as well–most are simple models for some surprisingly unconvincing makeup effects from Rick Baker (his attempts at turning back the clock on Henry Winkler and Julie Kavner make them look uneasily similar to the Wayans Brothers in “White Girls”) and Beckinsale isn’t asked to do anything more than look more fetching than usual in her skimpy domestic goddess outfits.

The lone bright spot in “Click,” almost inevitably, is the latest screw-loose supporting turn from Christopher Walken. Even though this is one of those roles that is so familiar that he could have played it in his sleep, the sheer strangeness of his line readings–hell, just his mere presence alone–is enough to wring laughs out of material that simply doesn’t deserve to have such an entertaining performer delivering it in the first place Just the manner in which he delivers his first line of dialogue--“Something stinks like stale French fries”–is so delightfully weird and funny that we don’t mind that this is just another one of his high-paid guest appearances in a film that assumes that his mere presence will lend it a cachet that it hasn’t been bothered to attempt to earn on its own. And when the time comes for Walken’s character to reveal who he really is–all I can is that he is probably the only actor around who could take that revelation and make it both funny and oddly plausible. Too bad he didn’t have the inner power to work the same magic with the rest of the film.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=14721&reviewer=389
originally posted: 06/23/06 15:24:42
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User Comments

8/03/14 cyjgjq USA 5 stars
2/19/13 the truth oh, look! kate beckinsale in a GOOD movie- oh, wait. Nevermind 2 stars
8/23/10 Anonymus The minute I saw Sean Astin wearing a speedo, I knew this was going to be a desperate film. 2 stars
9/05/09 Stevie Not as bad as the reviews say 3 stars
7/14/09 aliceinwonderland To me it is not a comedy but a relationship movie 3 stars
1/14/09 Anonymous. i feel pathetic but i almost cried :] 4 stars
9/13/08 David I just watched the movie- for a hundred times. It always made me cry. 5 stars
8/11/08 Jon G a beautiful message 5 stars
6/08/08 PAUL SHORTT THE FILM JUST DOESNT CLICK 1 stars
3/29/08 Bill O Really Lamos muchous dorkus gagus 1 stars
8/15/07 Ashley Well I LOVE this movie & it was a great change for him and IT MADE ME CRY!! but great story 5 stars
7/07/07 maribel reyes i think that it was good b/c it gives a good message that family comes first . 4 stars
7/07/07 AnnieG Was I supposed to even care? Stopped watching about half way through. 2 stars
5/18/07 Smiler only worth watching for Kate Beckingsale. she is hot! 3 stars
5/14/07 fools&#9835;gold If only there was more original music playing during the credits. 9/10 4 stars
2/18/07 kid kool What the fuck are you on about josh? "It was a good film," The movie was lame and so are yo 1 stars
1/06/07 Valerie Cameron meredith, do you mean "not too great", "not to grate"...or what? 2 stars
11/29/06 Stanley Thai One of the best films. Not your normal Adam Sandler movie. 4 stars
11/11/06 Zod Lame and predictable 2 stars
11/11/06 Tesch I love this movie but i didnt really get the ending very much 5 stars
11/11/06 Mariah I love this movie! 5 stars
11/11/06 Kristina Cooney If you just like simple family movies it will satisfy your appetite 4 stars
10/23/06 meredith Click was funny at times and then turned around and tried to be all deep, not to great 3 stars
10/17/06 Tiffany funny at times, wouldnt watch agian 2 stars
10/14/06 michael sounded like a good idea till I watch the movie 3 stars
10/13/06 Lucy Lymonhurst If she can't break better new ground than this, call her Kate BeckinSTALE! 1 stars
10/09/06 Caiphn First movie to be so bad that it made me angry. 1 stars
9/30/06 Regina Haniger Well,well -- I'd just as soon see Kate Beckinsale making more vampire flicks after all. 2 stars
9/18/06 Carmen Mistletoe Fart& dog-humpin joke haters, lighten up! That has nothing to do with why this is a failure 2 stars
9/17/06 Captain Craig Be honest now: haven't we all had quite enough of Adam Sandler? 1 stars
9/16/06 Sheila Evans I needed a much better reason for living to see "the Fonz" play a grandfather. 2 stars
9/16/06 Stephanie Throckmorton Tries to be comedy but is too morose; tries to be morality play but is too preposterous. 2 stars
8/17/06 Pn. The problem isn't Sandler, it's the Sandler handlers. 4 stars
7/25/06 Amy Obviously, the film wasn't trying to shoot for Capra. It was a great Sandler movie 4 stars
7/16/06 KingNeutron A bit heavy-handed, but Walken and Winkler were great. (And Beckinsale is hot!) 3 stars
7/12/06 AlanV Sentimental & obvious twist, some interesting ideas but infantile humour lets it down 2 stars
7/08/06 Anthony Feor goes from funny to hilarious with justa click 4 stars
7/05/06 Mr. Sandler Sucks I'm sick of sandler movies. a few good jokes and funny parts but movie sucked. 3 stars
7/03/06 MikeT no nonsense Meat & potatoes comedy Sandler style. big boobs r funny if handled correctly! 5 stars
7/02/06 greg It was a waste of my time to watch this hyped up film.!!!! 1 stars
7/01/06 Obi Wan Someone stop Sandler please!! 1 stars
6/29/06 josh it was a good film 5 stars
6/26/06 Jack I hated my date but my date loved it! 2 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  23-Jun-2006 (PG-13)
  DVD: 10-Oct-2006

UK
  29-Sep-2006

Australia
  22-Jun-2006




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