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Wednesday, June 21, 2006


Starring: Adam Sandler, Kate Beckinsale, Christopher Walken, Henry Winkler, David Hasselhoff, Julie Kavner, Jennifer Coolidge, Sean Astin, Jake Hoffman, Sophie Monk

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Synopsis: Adam Sandler portrays Michael Newman, a family man whose busy career as an architect doesn’t leave much time for his wife, Donna (Kate Beckinsale), and two kids. Unable to figure out which of his many remotes turns on the television, he goes shopping for a universal remote and finds the perfect device through Morty (Christopher Walken), who gives him a one-of-a-kind remote with magical powers. With each click, Michael is able to control his career and personal life. But complications arise when the remote starts to overrule his choices.

Click also stars David Hasselhoff as Michael’s boss, Henry Winkler and Julie Kavner as his parents, and Sean Astin.

Review: While the concept is high on the fun metre, the result is a mediocre Adam Sandler comedy that wavers between slapstick, gross-out, and some unexpectedly dark themes about life and death. It's predictable, often tedious, and sounds funnier than it plays. Just like the movie Multiplicity canvassed the notion of having multiple versions of yourself to cope with daily tasks and expectations, Click goes one step further and suggests skipping over life's tedious moments, and simply zooming in on the good parts. Like the orgasm without the foreplay, the promotion without the hard yards. But although the film's moral reminds us it's all about the journey, the journey of this Hollywood fantasy is limited to only a few rewarding pit stops along the way.

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Admittedly, having one's life neatly compacted as a DVD, with menu, pause, mute and fast forward options offers comic opportunities. There is a flash back option to check out old girlfriends, an audio commentary (by James Earl Jones) and a pre-conception sneak-peak. Being able to selectively miss the traffic and the family rows definitely has appeal. And Sandler delivers his own style of laid-back comedy with his usual whiney, monotone-coloured delivery. To his credit, the storyline pushes the boundaries of syrupy escapism, but his character is never endearing or likeable, so there is little at stake. Even the casting of a rather wooden Christopher Walken fails to bring the desired effect. Kate Beckinsale is little more than decorative in the comedy wife-role that Tea Leoni has perfected. However, I did warm to the pairing of David Hasselhoff's egotistic boss with Jennifer Coolidge's over-the-top floozy.

Like Michael, who loses control of his own life, screenwriters Steve Koren and Mark O'Keefe (Bruce Almighty), seem to have lost control of the characters. They are cardboard cutouts and caricatures that fail to click with us.

*Review by Louise Keller, Urban Cinefile

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