Reviewed by: Sheri McMurray
|Featuring:||Adam Sandler, Blake Heron, Allen Covert, Peter Dante, Christopher Walken, Kate Beckinsale, David Hasselhoff, Sean Astin, Henry Winkler, Sophie Monk, Katie Cassidy, Jonah Hill|
|Producer:||Doug Belgrad, Barry Bernardi, Todd Garner, Jack Giarraputo, Steve Koren, Neal H. Moritz, Mark O’Keefe, Adam Sandler, Matthew Tolmach|
|Distributor:||Sony Pictures Releasing|
“What If You Had A Universal Remote… That Controlled Your Universe?”
Adam Sandler has not been known as a dramatic as well as comedic actor like Robin Williams and Steve Martin. But I believe he’s been sadly overlooked. Even though “Click” is pegged as a comedy, that’s only half the story. First half: comedy, with all the bodily functions and fart jokes intact. Second half: be ready for some truly tear jerking drama, including a darned good death scene.
As in any Sandler edition, this movie is not for little kids, although there are little kids in it. I want to get that said right off the bat. The premise is good, sometimes even sweet, and the characters at times are a bit cartoonish, but the references to sex, foreplay and the dog humping a “ducky pillow” gag running through the whole flick (and others as I will include later) is completely out of order for kids under 16 and probably not for any Christian youth audience.
Michael Newman (I can’t help it, I think he’s great Adam Sandler) heads to the mall one night to replace his 50 remote controls with one. He’s tired of pointing at the TV and opening the garage door. He’s also tired of his life which includes job tension, over doing it with the budget, a demanding yet beautiful wife, Donna (an always captivating Kate Beckinsale; did I mention this was a fantasy?), and his smothering, although he’s never noticed loving, pair of parents (Henry Winkler and Julie Kavner).
After searching the mall, Michael ends up in the “Beyond” section of Bed Bath and Beyond (good joke: “Way Beyond”), where he encounters Morty, who looks like an untenured mad professor and is played by the great Christopher Walken with a perm and a delivery just this side of the Moon. Morty’s some sort of computer geek with a great knowledge of what the “public” really wants from a remote control. They want “life control.” He gives Michael this sleek blue remote with a few warnings that go unheard by Michael, especially these two: It programs itself after a while, and it can’t be returned.
But who cares? Michael deliriously discovers he can fast-forward through the uncomfortable areas of his life which center around the family fights, family dinners, job pressures (such as being a groveling minion to boss Jack Ammer [David Hasselhoff]), and get to the really good stuff like his much over due job promotion.
He starts chapter-forwarding through parts of his life, leaping past family time to get to the pay off of that job promotion, but to his ultimate shock Michael finds out the remote is doing the job on its own. Without giving too much away, I can say that we get into the back half of Michael’s personal movie (which requires Sandler to don a fat suit and get gray) out of control while watching his children turn into grown-ups played by Jake Hoffman (Dustin’s son) and Katie Cassidy (David’s daughter) who never really got to know him as “Dad.”
What Michael doesn’t realize is that his promotion didn’t take a few months, but a few years and in the meantime he has missed some extremely important things. And even more paramount—he cannot go back—there is not rewind here! He comes to the heart rending conclusion that he was never a real father to little Ben (Joseph Castanon) and Samantha (Tatum McCann) and has lost the love of his life to none other than the swim instructor (Sean Astin)! While going after that dream of full partner (perhaps even CEO) in his Architectural firm, Michael has lost the best part of life—his family.
This part of “Click” gets intensely serious, you know Sandler is transitioning to make a mature statement while still holding on to his boo-ya fratboy core audience, but one cannot help but get involved with his character and the statement being made, although in a comedic way. Though “Click”’s premise is blissfully, farcically pure: What if you had a remote that actually controlled the universe? The outcome of Michael’s folly is pure horror and touches on areas of genuine unease for many men today.
“Click” puts its finger on issues that have real emotional currency for men in middle America: how to allot time to the things that matter when the pie is getting sliced into smaller and smaller increments, how to multitask without losing your mind, how to be present as a parent. The most unsettling idea in the movie is that Michael might go on “autopilot” for much of his life, even as Christians we’ve all known those fathers who simply weren’t there.
I like the fact that Sandler is concerned with this issue and attempts to address it first through comedy, then taking us into a reality check at the end. Although comedy—this is strictly adult comedy and comes to conclusions that only adults can relate to. That’s where the PG-13 rating for language, crude and sex-related humor comes in. PG stands for Parental Guidance so pay attention parents before you send your kids off to the theater alone. Anyone who is familiar with Adam Sandler’s humor anyway, should already know it is objectionable, even taboo for Christian kids and most Christians period.
“Click” is sprinkled with profanity, which isn’t really necessary, but the innuendoes and references to sex, drugs, foreplay and sex, and animals having sex is way over the top! To me, acts of animals “humping” a leg or an object is completely unfunny and un called for. The “finger” is given once, the f-word is uttered once and other adult humor abounds. A scene is shown where Michael’s parents are “making” him and a view from inside the vagina as Michael is being born. Also, there is an older child character named Kevin who uses profanity profusely and this is not funny. I found a scene where Sandler’s character puts a “pause” on his boss, punches him in the face and then proceeds to climb up on his desk, turn his butt to his boss’s face and then pass wind extremely offensive! It was embarrassing and uncomfortable to watch.
“Click” is driven by very real concerns, especially in the selfish generation springing up in this century. Valid concerns that well from Michael’s despairing cry early on that “every choice I make, everything I do, I disappoint somebody.” At one point he looks up, as if to God, and asks, “Will you give me a break, just one time?”
We need never worry about disappointing another human being in this life. If we are worried about our actions and owe respect to anyone, it is not to anyone on this Earth but to our Father in Heaven. How sad that we would even think of fast forwarding through this life. How sad also that we do not turn to God for guidance and wisdom. How sad that the rewards of this Earthly life would mean so much to most of us, for that is not where our worth lies. We may want for certain Earthly things, thinking having them will make our lives perfect, but that is the Devil’s trick.
When it comes to the gifts the Father of lights gives to us as His children, these gifts are always good and perfect. No magic remote control could ever take their place. Everything we receive from God is both good for our growth and perfect for our progression in life. How wonderful to note that we don’t have to concern ourselves with getting something from our Heavenly Father that will negatively affect us, as Michael’s remote control did. God will always give us a life that will help us grow in spiritual maturity, and even though He may not bestow upon us a CEO level at our work place, He always will give us a life of ultimate benefit.
Sometimes we ask Our Father for things we think are good and perfect for us, but in reality, they’re exactly what we shouldn’t have. Our Divine Dad sees the bigger picture. He knows when a relationship will ruin us, or when that job promotion isn’t what will make us happy in the end. As a protective parent, not acting as a magic remote, He doesn’t always give us what we might ask for in life because that may well be the very thing that ruins our life.
It is a good and wise thing that our Father God doesn’t always give us what we want, but take comfort in the fact He will always give us what is good and perfect for us in His always perfect perspective.
No magic remote control could ever hope to make our lives perfect. To skip over the points that God has put there for instruction and wisdom would be a travesty for any man. Let us remember that “Father Knows Best” and in this life He will give His kids what’s best for them. God has guaranteed us that no matter how dark, dismal, or desperate a situation seems, it will all work out in the end for He is in control. We are not in control of our lives and by taking control we always mess things up for the heart is wicked. Michael tried to take control and failed miserably. The best thing about this movie, unlike real life, the character of Michael was given a second chance.
Unless we rely on our Heavenly Father to take control of our lives, we tragically will fail and unfortunately there are no second chances. We place ourselves in a win-win situation by relying on God for control. He has the power to protect us from or expose us to certain life situations to make us stronger. Bypassing these experiences made Michael realize how important every situation in his life was to making him the man he was meant to be.
The final words of wisdom from “Click” was that family always comes first and, as Morty cautions us all, “You live the life you choose.” As enrapturing as that may seem, I wouldn’t take my family to see this one. It was well made and Adam Sandler did a great job, as did all these fine actors, but the Christian family would be better off staying home and pondering God as being in sovereign control.
One Bible scholar defines this as “The exercise of God’s supremacy… being infinitely elevated above the highest creatures… subject to none, influenced by none, none can thwart Him, none can hinder Him.” In other words, God is in complete control! Don’t skip over any part of your life for it is all there and good for you—a good and perfect gift from Above!
Violence: Minor / Profanity: Heavy / Sex/Nudity: Heavy
When I saw the preview, I thought, “Okay. Maybe it will be somewhat funny, but I won’t be surprised if they take the concept and run it to ground halfway through.” I was actually very surprised at the film’s outcome, the sudden turn from campy fratboy humor to a darker, more serious and dramatic tone. Before they could run the concept to ground, they actually took off with a sudden twist of plot: The remote is self-programming. Misery often spawns good comedy (sad but true), and after the toilet humor of the first half of the film, the darker comedy emerges, but so does the drama. I honestly felt that the culmination of the film was inspiring, and I will not agree with anyone who says this movie has no redeeming values in it. Family comes first. There’s my two cents worth.
Offensive / 4
—Matt Bindner, age 27
The overall theme of the movie is that “Family comes First.” It just takes our main character a while to get it. Through out the movie, he mentions how much he loves his wife and what a “babe” she is. He completely ignores the pretty secretaries at his work because he is so in love with his wife. Which is sooo nice and different in today’s movies. In the end, He realizes his mistakes~ wife is remarried, his kids call someone else Dad, and he is miserable because he chose work. The end of the movie is the best because you know that he really did get the lesson by his choices. It is a cute movie if you aren’t offended by bad language and references to sex. You can tell in one part that they are going to “go to bed,” but you don’t see anything, the screen cuts to a silly shadow on the wall. I did feel that the dog with his duck was a little overboard. If you are easily offended by those things, I think I would wait to rent it so that you can bleep out words and fast forward through 20 second sections. Hope it helps!!
Better than Average / 4
—Kari, age 26
There were a few instances where Adam Sandler’s kids in the movie dropped a few swear words. All I could think about was how the kids who went home after the movie would start thinking it was OK for little kids to talk like that. Well, let me tell you—IT’S NOT! Words like that can sometimes SOMETIMES be funny in a movie if taken in the right context. But I’d like to think that in the real world, we’re more civilized than that. Now don’t get me wrong. I did like the movie. I thought it redeemed itself wonderfully. I walked out thinking it was almost like a new telling of “It’s a Wonderful Life” but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that it was more like “A Christmas Carol” (except in this case, it would be more like “A 4th of July Carol” since that was the holiday it revolved around.) I recommend seeing it. It was a great story. It was a great 2 hour escape from reality. But please. Leave the kids at home for this one. If you can’t find a sitter, go do something the WHOLE family can enjoy and rent it in a few months.
Offensive / 2
—Pete, age 27