The Flick Chicks

Judy Thorburn's Movie Reviews

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Judy Thorburn

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"CLICK" PUSHES ALL THE RIGHT BUTTONS FOR AUDIENCES

Flick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha Chemplavil


Adam Sandler is certainly no Jimmy Stewart. Nor, do I think he is trying to be. But, like Stewart in “It’s A Wonderful Life”, Click has Sandler’s character taking a hard look at himself through a magical journey through time to discover what’s really important in his life. Throw in a little of “A Christmas Carol”, a touch of “Back to the Future” and a lesson not unlike Harry Chapin’s “Cats in the Cradle", and you get the gist of this fantasy that starts off as a comedy and winds up being much more; a thoroughly entertaining and touching drama, something you would never guess from the trailers.

 

For someone who was not a big fan of Adam Sandler in his earlier goofy films such as Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore and others, I see that he has evolved into a genuine actor with more grown up, mature roles filling his resume (Punch Drunk Love, Spanglish to name a few). Sandler’s career seems to be continuing in this vein and I’ve got to admit that his turn for the better has made me a fan. Maybe watching others like Tom Hanks or Jim Carrey’s transformation into a serious actor was an inspiration.

Sandler plays Michael Newman, a talented, but overworked New York architect with a beautiful wife, Donna (Kate Bekinsale) two adorable kids, a pet dog, and a nice home in the suburbs. You’d think he had it all. But, nooo! Michael struggles to please his boss, demanding jerk John Ammer (David Hasselhoff) so that he can become partner in the firm, a task that means working long hours, at the expense of ignoring chores around the house and sacrificing valuable time with his family. If only he had some way to relieve all the pressure! But, as it is said - be careful what you wish for.

One night when he’s fed up of trying to get the remote control to turn on the TV without starting other electronic devices, he decides to go out and buy a universal remote. It’s during his visit to the only store that appears to be open, Bed, Bath and Beyond, that Michael enters a door (overhead sign reads “Way Beyond”) leading down a long hallway to a warehouse where a rather strange clerk named Morty (perfectly cast Christopher Walken, wacky, but brilliant as ever) offers Michael a remote control like no other, one that he promises “will rock his world”. And, he ain’t kidding. This unique piece of technology is indeed a universal remote, but forget about the TV. This one has the power to control Michael’s universe with a click of a button. And it’s given to him free because Morty says, “sometimes good guys need a break.” The one catch is it cannot be returned, nor be disposed of.

Soon Michael finds out just how remarkable this remote really is. With one click he can control the volume of his barking dog or speed him up with another when taking the pooch for a walk. In fact, the fast forward button seems to get the most use in allowing Michael to skip over the stuff that he deems bothersome or he doesn’t want to deal with, such as arguments with his wife, traffic jams, or visits from his parents. Of course it can also pause, adjust the color, reverse, mute the sound, and even translate foreign languages. The real mind blower is the Life Menu (great CGI effects) with an audio commentary narrated by James Earl Jones (how funny and so fitting) that can take him to anytime in his life. He can rewind, but cannot relive those times, only act as an observer. At first this seems to be a dream come true. But, things go awry when learned preferences programmed into its memory has the remote executing fast forward to such a degree that is beyond Michael’s control. It takes speeding passed too many of the important or crucial events in his life that Michael begins to have a wake up call, realizing that he is missing out on way too much and needs to reevaluate his priorities.

So while the first half of the movie has the usual funny gags and crude humor, some of which I could do without such as the gross flatulence scene with his boss as the target (to put it discreetly), or the repeated sight of his dog humping away on a stuffed animal, the transition from Sandler’s usual comic shtick to heartwarming, emotional film with a message took me by surprise, and in a very good way. I would have never guessed that Sandler’s acting could move me so, but there is a scene (no spoiler here) where he visits the future and desperately regrets the lack of love and attention he’d shown his Dad (Henry Winkler). There couldn’t have been a dry eye in the house.

Winkler (not a trace of TV’s Fonzie) and Julie Kavner (the voice of Marge Simpson) as Michael’s Mom have little to do, but these veteran actors make the best of their presence. The special makeup effects by designer Rick Baker showing the actors in their old age is the most realistic and best I’ve seen, even in close ups. Too bad whatever technique was used to show Winkler and Kavner as twentysomethings was just the opposite; so awful that their faces looked liked they were made of wax. That’s my only complaint. Oh yes, look for Sandler’s friends and old Saturday Night Live buddies, Rob Schneider, in an uncredited, hysterical turn as an Arab sheik and Rachel Dratch as Sandler’s quirky secretary. And I’d like to see more of Jake Hoffman (Dustin’s son) who is effective as Sandler’s son as an adult.

I didn’t expect much from this film. But, as it turned out I was pleasantly surprised and liked it a lot. Sandler and supporting cast are great, and the script acts as a cautionary tale with a message that shines through about getting so caught up in the rat race that we forget to stop and appreciate what is taken for granted. If that doesn’t “click” with most audiences, nothing will.