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Before we begin, understand something really important about reviewing. Sometimes you can't check your life at the door. It's part of the job, but . . .
You wanna know what kind of a day Cranky had, prior to seeing Click? First, we're told by the doctor that our blood work indicates some really nasty business ahead. Second, we get an email informing us that a cousin by marriage and her husband have been seriously hurt in a car crash. Last, we were committed to see the aforementioned new Adam Sandler movie. Now, we don't object to endless slo-mo shots of huge breasts bouncing up and down . . . it's the accompanying narration and nudge nudge vocal slurping that we (theoretically) outgrew a decade or two back. We arrived at our screening in the foulest of moods, told the publicist so, and then promised that if the film wasn't the funniest thing Sandler has done, we were in a mood to do nasty things to it in this review. So . . .
IN SHORT: A great dateflick, especially for those past the four-letter word spewing teen demographic. [Rated PG-13 for language, crude and sex-related humor, and some drug references. 98 minutes]
There are viewers who prefer Sandler's pre- The Wedding Singer films as opposed to those of us who prefer (most of) what's come after. The first half of Click may be the funniest thing Adam Sandler has done yet, in a mature sort of way . . . we can already hear the trad fanboys screaming "Oh, the horror" out on the street. Not in those words, of course.
It wasn't so long ago that Adam Sandler comedies would bore Cranky into a stupor. There is only so much low brow junk -- four letter language and fart jokes and so forth -- that we could take. Sandler v.2006, in this case a delightful film called Click, gets the crude stuff pretty much out of the way in the first five or so minutes. From that point on, we enjoyed a tale of an overworked family man who is so determined to provide the best of everything for his family that he provides almost nothing of the most important thing -- himself. How he manages to succeed at life involves a magical remote control which, ah forget about a logical explanation. That's what fantasy is for.
Architect Michael Newman (Adam Sandler) has a beautiful wife, Donna (Kate Beckinsale). Two bright eyed, adoring moppet kidlets, Ben and Samantha, a living mom and dad (Julie Kavner and Henry Winkler as Trudy and Ted) who he doesn't have as much time for as he'd like and a boss (David Hasselhoff) who's been dangling the prospect of a full partnership in his company in front of Michael for so long that our hero is totally focused on getting that gold ring; working hours that even a super man couldn't keep up with. It is, of course, far too much for the average, non-Kryptonian born man to handle. When Michael tries to veg out in front of the teevee, he can't figure out which remote control, of the half-dozen or so in front of him, to use. Or how to use it. Deciding to take the kidlet advice that one universal control is better than the half a dozen he can't master, Michael heads for the mall and encounters the mysterious Morty (Christopher Walken), resident of the "Beyond" section of the local Bed Bath and Beyond. We're guessing that Radio Shack doesn't exist in the universe inhabited by this film or, like the Staples store we do see, is closed. Get over it. It sets up a great joke . . .
. . . and Morty plays genie to Michael's dearest wish, providing a one of a kind Universal Remote Control. This clicker, though, controls Michael's universe. Time, Space and all the other stuff. Give credit to the creators of this film, folks, what could have been an incredibly smarmy waste of time for all but sixteen year olds is developed into a very funny movie that builds a story with great characters as well as visual gags. What happens towards the end -- it's about as by the book as you could read in any text on "how to write a three act film" -- does its best to kill the momentum dead with a serious point, but it's OK.
The film is well staffed with a better than the usually disposable supporting cast: David Hasselhoff as Michael's taskmaster boss, Sean Astin and Jennifer Coolidge as potential romantic conflict elements -- that's what happens when a story rests of the power of wish fulfillment. All the supporting roles change but, in this case, not necessarily in the way we have come to expect. Our biggest nod goes to kidlet Cameron Monaghan who, as neighbor Kevin O'Doyle, makes our Hero just want to . . . well, he's really gonna want to do something to the kid. But he can't 'cuz, you know, it's a kid. What Michael does do is a very pleasant surprise, given what we've come to expect from Sandler's films. Any viewer determined to figure it out will see it coming a mile off, but it's still satisfying.
On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Ten Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Click, he would have paid . . .
Those reading these words once the film hits the DVD aftermarket will probably take the logic of each scenario apart on a frame by frame basis, but that misses the entire point. Click is a terrific, get yourself elbow deep in popcorn, fun flick.
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