Dubby’s dvdiscussion : Sandler clicks


America is divided into two camps. One loves Adam Sandler and his movies, the other hates both. And yet once a year Sandler has a hit. This year it is the movie Click, which has a fascinating premise. If you could change things with the press of a button, would you? And if you did, what would your life be like? The possibilities are endless, and even in a comedy the scope for thoughtful speculation are enormous.

Sandler aided by director Frank Coraci make Click into a fantasy that is aimed at the lowest common denominator and is full of gags about randy dogs molesting toy ducks, breaking wind jokes and general low brow humour.

But Click was a hit getting $40 million at the box office in its first week, and the young in Kathmandu are going to love it.

Says writer Brian Marder, “With so many remote controls for so many devices, Michael Newman (Adam Sandler) always clicks the wrong power button. He’s sick of it. The workaholic is also sick of being too busy to find time for his family. On a late-night trip to Bed Bath and Beyond in search of a universal remote, he kills two birds with one stone. After passing the bed section and the bath section, Michael reaches the “beyond”, where he meets an eccentric man named Morty (Christopher Walken) who offers a remote to control his life. No more wasting time or missing out — he can fast-forward, rewind and pause — his life is his. It’s all well and good until he abuses the fast-forward button and misses all the beautiful minutiae of life. Before long he’s old, sick and alone and realises — thanks to the rewind button — that he was never there for his family. It’s a simple twist of fate for Michael, but it’s neither his only one nor his simplest.

“Click is a high-concept film but it’s Sandler, after all, and who better to keep the serious stuff from getting too serious than Sandler’s pal/collaborator (and director of The Waterboy and The Wedding Singer) Frank Coraci? The director has the Sandler fan base at heart, and the result is thus decidedly unsubtle and not always pretty for a movie that should’ve, in all honesty, gone with more gusto towards the morose undertones the story puts into place — though the director at least didn’t completely steer away from dramatic elements.”

Another critic from Total Film adds, “This, then, is a film of two halves. On the one hand it’s all gravy, Sandler’s hi-tech device serving up one witty surprise after another — a commentary option that sees his life narrated by James Earl Jones, a ‘Next Chapter’ button that allows him to skip fights with wife Kate Beckinsale, and an overly literal ‘Making Of’ that whisks him back to the moment of his own conception. On the other, it’s suet pudding, our hero freezing time to guff in the face of sleazy boss David Hasselhoff or slow things down to ogle a passing jogger’s bouncing boobs.

Click is at its most effective when it stops trying to squeeze humour from its supernatural premise and plays up its nightmarish potential, with Sandler’s neglectful husband and father increasingly finding himself at the mercy of his mad point-and-press preferences. It’s here, in its latter stages, that Coraci’s movie comes closest to the dark fable it aspires to be... at which point it promptly loses the courage of its convictions, reaching desperately for the nearest joke to hand. ‘Quick!’ you can almost hear the producers screaming, ‘Somebody pull Sean Astin’s trousers down!’”