Monday, October 03, 2016

OVP: Click (2006)

Film: Click (2006)
Stars: Adam Sandler, Kate Beckinsale, Christopher Walken, David Hasselhoff, Henry Winkler, Julie Kavner
Director: Frank Coraci
Oscar History: 1 nomination (Best Makeup)
Snap Judgment Ranking: 1/5 stars

Growing up as a teenager toward the end of the 1990's, Adam Sandler was as inevitable as having a favorite Backstreet Boy and a Beanie Babies retirement plan.  Seriously-Sandler was an enormous movie star starting with this one-two punch of Happy Gilmore and Billy Madison, and continued to be a deeply reliable bankable presence for a decade after that (he's nowhere near that now, but he can still pull in a hit as Pixels brought in a solid profit last year, and is perhaps being more of a pioneer into the future of filmdom with his Netflix contract).  Even those of us who couldn't stand his juvenile and deeply predictable humor couldn't totally avoid him (mostly because all of his films kept coming up during band trip bus rides), but I'd largely avoided almost everything he'd done for a number of years after escaping high school until recently, when the Oscar Viewing Project threw me one of those curveballs that rivaled Norbit in giving a citation to Click.  Yes, an Adam Sandler movie has been nominated for an Academy Award, and no, it wasn't the one directed by Paul Thomas Anderson.  Like Norbit, I stomached up to the bar, and took my painfully terrible medicine.

(Spoilers Ahead) I will say, it has to be noted, that the film is terrible, but nowhere near as bad as what Norbit ended up being (Norbit remains one of the worst films I've ever seen-Click is awful, but it's not going to question whether or not I should stop watching movies awful).  The film follows Mike (Sandler), a loving husband-and-father who is trying to get ahead at work, despite coming into a number of setbacks as his boss John (Hasselhoff) repeatedly uses him and overlooks him for promotions.  Still, he has a loving family and is good at his job, and one day he meets Morty (Walken), who gives him a remote control that will help solve all of his problems-it can fast forward through time, he soon learns, and can pause or rewind and he can relive old memories.  It's the sort of premise you find on The Twilight Zone, and we soon learn that like The Twilight Zone, there's a twist there-soon Mike is fast-forwarding ferociously through his life without any way of stopping himself.  He soon becomes a parody of Scrooge, someone who sees what his life is like if he doesn't start making more time for his family, and he gets a reset late in the film where he learns that family is the most important thing.

It's worth noting, of course, that the film is strange if you just look at it from the outside, particularly considering that Mike doesn't seem that devoted initially to his job, and truly seems more concerned about providing for his family.  I guess as the film goes on it becomes more cartoonish and his relationship with his wife becomes more plausibly strained, but the movie has a number of plot-holes where we see Mike conveniently become a jerk, despite of course having cognition of what is happening to him with the remote.  Time travel movies always have holes in them, but this one in particular the logic wears thin as the movie progresses.

The film itself, though, even if you buy into the plot, is pointless and juvenile.  The comedy bits are broad and are easily seen ahead of time, with us frequently valuing the female characters only for their sexuality (Kate Beckinsale is good, Jennifer Coolidge is bad in this equation, apparently), and none of these actors, even the ones who can, you know, actually act, are doing any heavy-lifting.  Anyone who can't see literally every turn in the film, well, congratulations on finally watching a movie.  And some of the judgments of characters are just mean-spirited.  After all, Sean Astin's Bill is actually a solid guy, arguably better for Mike's family than Mike is, and yet he's treated as a jerk even though he did nothing wrong.  A lot of this film is perched on liking Mike and believing he'd put his family above his career-I didn't really buy either of those two things, which made the film largely pointless.

The film received its Oscar nomination for Makeup, and part of that nomination was probably pretty earned.  The film's old age makeup and hairstyling is actually solid.  Particularly on Sandler, the old age makeup is believable and quite convincing.  Unfortunately, the film also has a series of fat suit makeup that is, well, terrible and only used for comic effect that has to lose the film mad points in terms of an actual Oscar nomination, so like Norbit I have to question whether or not it deserved the Oscar nod even if occasionally the effects worked.

Those are my thoughts on this pointless, dull film, and one of several in the past couple of weeks that I was a bit shocked to find I truly detested.  Any Sandler fans out there want to vouch for it, or at least its Oscar nod?  Anyone else have a moment of "is that Jonah Hill?" with the future Oscar-nominee's surprise early role?  And where do you think Sandler's career goes from here?  Share your thoughts below!

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