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At The Movies:



Sasha Stone

Mirror Film Critic

One reason Adam Sandler owns the box office is because he surrounds himself with people who will let him do his thing. His movies, which are mostly too embarrassing to admit to having seen, always make so much money that no one dares to say a thing about them.

To be fair, Sandler has made some good movies, and even some career-challenging ones like Punch-Drunk Love. But he’s made a name for himself by delivering up comedy that the most important demographic laps up like sweet milk. And even his worst films are funny because, well, he’s funny. He isn’t just funny, he’s likable.

In his own strange way, Sandler is as reliable a hero as Jimmy Stewart once was (no, don’t start writing hate mail – I didn’t say he WAS Jimmy Stewart), someone who doesn’t think himself above his audience. Someone who has that curious mix of vulnerability and good humor. Someone whom you can’t help but like no matter what gross thing he happens to be doing on screen.

Sandler’s latest film, Click, was directed by his pal Frank Coraci (who also directed The Waterboy and The Wedding Singer), and written by Steve Koren (Saturday Night Live) and Mark O’Keefe (The David Letterman Show) and is, essentially, a mostly weak retelling of Stewart’s much-loved film, It’s a Wonderful Life.

Sandler plays Michael Newman (get it, “new man”), who is rushing through his life like it was on fast-forward and he was on auto-pilot. He doesn’t have time to go camping with his family; he’s toyed with by his boss (a hilarious David Hasselhoff), and he never has time for his kids, not to mention his wife (Kate Beckinsale).

Enter Morty (Christopher Walken). who works in the back room of Bed, Bath and Beyond in the Beyond section. He gives Michael an extra-special remote control, one that has the power to stop, start, pause and fast-forward life. You can even mute out things you don’t want to hear, like annoying car singers or barking dogs.

But it wouldn’t be a movie if that were the only thing Click had to offer. It spirals off that comedic path into more serious territory with Michael using the remote to skip over things he finds unpleasant. The remote has a mind of its own and eventually skips over most of Michael’s life. He misses all the good stuff – the stuff that makes our lives worth living. It isn’t the big things in life – the promotion, the million dollars, the new car. It is the crushingly little things – a glance across the room by your adoring wife, a kiss goodnight by your adoring child. Like George Bailey, Michael realizes that he really had a wonderful life, warts and all. And skipping over it, no matter how much money it made him, is the worst curse of all.

You can probably guess where all of this is going. It isn’t hard. Click is a paint-by-the-numbers predictable morality tale that won’t set the critics on fire. Good thing they don’t make movies for critics, huh? Click turned in an impressive $40 million its opening weekend. It has enough fart jokes and dog humping references to more than entertain the target demographic – another summer movie hits it out of the park.

What makes Click enjoyable, however, are the supporting turns by comic vets like Julie Kavner, Henry Winkler, Jennifer Coolidge and Rachel Dratch. The film is uncharacteristically serious at times, which may make the little ones who are paying attention cry. But the formula does not disappoint and in mere moments, all is right with the world. Click will enjoy its brief reign at the box office until is dethroned by Superman Returns, The Devil Wears Prada and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest.

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