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CLICK
U.S. Release Date: June 23, 2006
Distributor: Sony (Revolution)
Director: Frank Coraci
Writer: Steve Koren, Mark O'Keefe
Producer: Jack Giarraputo, Tim Herlihy (executive), Steve Koren, Neal H. Moritz, Mark O'Keefe, Adam Sandler
Composer: Rupert Gregson-Williams
Cast: Adam Sandler, Kate Beckinsale, Christopher Walken, Nick Swardson, Katie Cassidy, Jonah Hill, Rob Schneider (Cameo)
Running Time: 1 hour and 37 minutes
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (language, crude and sex-related humor, and some drug references)

Romper Room on Remote Control
by Scott Holleran

Click does not click. Surely, this vulgar humor speaks to Adam Sandler's fan base, but it doesn't for a moment succeed as a movie. It doesn't come close.

Written by the team that created the godawful Bruce Almighty, and directed by the guy who directed The Wedding Singer and Disney's insipid Around the World in 80 Days, the remote control comedy tries to fuse the asinine with the meaningful and winds up with one putrid, overwrought mess.

As usual, Sandler is the imbecile in the spotlight, this time with a cruel streak. He plays Michael, an architect, husband and father. With David Hasselhoff as his pompous boss, Kate Beckinsale, flitting around in her underpants, as his fetching wife—a son and daughter are on hand, too—and Henry Winkler (Fonzie on Happy Days) and Julie Kavner (Brenda Morgenstern on Rhoda) as his parents, Sandler is surrounded by supporting players in standard situational comedy.

Jennifer Coolidge (Legally Blonde) walks in here and there, and Sean Astin (Rudy) shows up as a swim coach in a Speedo in a sight gag typical of the genre. Christopher Walken does his usual freak routine as the dude who gives Michael the magical remote. It's like an extended play on the spotty Saturday Night Live.

But Sandler's Michael is a worm. He lies to his children, insults his sister-in-law and destroys a neighbor kid's toy. Those parts are supposed to be funny. Sometimes, Sandler gets a laugh by acting out certain bits, but they are skits, not scenes, and the act is old and tired. This guy needs an intervention, not a remote.

With minimal plot and character development, Michael and his gadget zip, zap and pause making fun of Jews, gays and Japanese people, flashing back to childhood—with poor Kavner and Winkler transformed into something out of Creatures Features—deceiving his wife, terrorizing the neighbor kid and sticking his fanny in Hasselhoff's face on freeze frame. A running gag about the dog screwing a stuffed animal only stresses the manic mental state of the movie. Predictably, the remote's powers get out of hand.

Then, something remarkable happens. Click decides to become very, very serious. This would be fine if for no other reason than to shift the audience into something resembling a story but, with the Sandler character staying brainless and malicious throughout his Ebenezer Scrooge stage—in which he ostensibly learns to stop and smell the roses—it goes into saccharine plot convulsions. As an overbearing score accompanies him running in the rain in front of a hospital, Click crosses into Twilight Zone territory, playing with the earnestness of The Truman Show merged into the sudsy strings of As the World Turns, decked with the humor of an Austin Powers sequel.

Sandler's comic progression, not unlike fellow Saturday Night Live alumni's Bill Murray before him, is turning toward a tragic, morning-after persona. Though someone tries to tack on something relatively hopeful, Click comes undone by callous Adam Sandler in one of the most unsympathetic characters to appear on screen.


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