Film Review: Click
In 2006, Frank Coraci released Click, which starred Adam Sandler, Christopher Walken, Kate Beckinsale, David Hasselhoff, Henry Winkler, Julie Kavner, Sean Astin, Jennifer Coolidge, Sophie Monk, Michelle Lombardo, Joseph Castanon, Nick Swardson, Rob Schneider, James Earl Jones, and Jonah Hill. Grossing $237.6 million at the box office, the film was nominated for The Academy Award for Best Achievement in Makeup, the Casting Society of America Artios Award for Best Feature Film Casting – Comedy, the Kids Choice Award for Favorite Movie, The Motion Picture Sound Editors Golden Reel Award for Best Sound Editing for Music in a Feature Film, the MTV Movie Award for Best Comedic Performance, the Teen Choice Awards for Movies – Choice Comedy, Movies – Choice Actor: Comedy, Movies – Choice Chemistry, Movies – Choice Hissy Fit, and Choice Summer Movie Comedy, and the Young Artist Awards for Best Performance in a Feature Film -Young Actress Age Ten or Younger and Best Family Feature Film (Comedy or Musical). The film won the ASCAP Film and Television Music Award for Top Box Office Films, the Kids’ Choice Award for Favorite Male Movie Star, and the People’s Choice Award for Favorite Movie Comedy.
Michael Newman is an architect who loves his family but is easily pushed around by his overbearing boss, causing him to have little time for them. One night, he loses his temper due to the amount of remote controls in his house and goes searching for a universal remote, winding up at Bed, Bath & Beyond. There, he wanders into the “Beyond” section and meets Morty, an eccentric inventor who gives him a universal remote and that Michael finds out can be used to control time. However, Michael soon finds out that the remote saves his preferences.
Much more dramatic than many of Sandler’s other films, Click is a good film that succeeds in being poignant as well as entertaining. It presents the audience with a workaholic attempting to balance work and family, but winds up being so focused on getting ahead in his job that he misses out on key family moments. Enter Morty and the universal remote that Michael uses skip past points in life that he doesn’t want to experience, the first case being his fast-forwarding through dinner with his parents so he can work on a building design. Finding it useful, he does it again when his boss doesn’t promote him when he thought the promotion was deserved and misses not just an evening of his life, but an entire year that also puts a wedge between him and his family. What’s interesting about this is that it’s this point in time that Michael starts to realize that his being so focused on work is causing him to lose his family and attempts to repair the damage caused within that year, but the remote has already figured out his preference for skipping ahead to his work achievement and causes him to lose out on years at a time. It’s a fascinating way to have a plot device show not only the main character, but the audience that having tunnel vision and only remaining focused on work can cause a person to miss out on the greatest parts of living. It’s a realization that Michael finds out halfway through the film, is only able to pass it on at the climax and then is able to live it out at the very end due to Morty giving him a second chance.
What’s really interesting is that the remote can be considered a character unto itself. As stated earlier, it knows and saves Michael’s life preferences and remains uncaring when he wants to break away from what’ it’s doing to him. Further, there are points when Michael tries to throw the thing away, only for it to magically turn up somewhere as it’s developed an attachment to him. As such, the remote becomes this sort of being that always has a presence, even when not on screen. It’s a force that the audience knows will strike again, it’s just a matter of when.
Prior to finding out that the remote is going to control what aspects of his life he experiences, the film provides some great humor in Michael experimenting with what the device can do. At one point, he messes with his skin color and imagines himself as a pirate with scurvy, the Hulk and Barney the Dinosaur and at another, amuses himself by making his boss speak in Spanish at seminar.