Click works off the premise of a "universal remote control controlling your universe" as Christopher Walken's eccentric Morty puts it.
Adam Sandler's new "comedy" may surprise his fans a bit in length and tone, though his reverence for Frank Capra is still there with visual effects to brighten up an unoriginal tale with plenty of "retro" tunes from the likes of The Cars and Natalie Merchant.
His Michael Newman is a very busy architect with nary any time for beautiful wife Donna (Kate Beckinsale) and two adorable children. The goal for him is to make partner at the firm where the boss, Ammer (a self-parodying David Hasselhoff), keeps pushing him to get more design proposals done, at the expense of a long-planned camping trip with the kids over the 4th of July.
Frustrated at home and with the ungrateful Ammer, Michael goes shopping late at night to find the only open outlet being Bed, Bath, and Beyond. He ends up opening a door labeled "Way Beyond" to be given a magical remote control by Morty without a catch (he doesn't have to take his shirt off, for example). Yet, Morty, done by Walken recalling yet not as effective as Christopher Lloyd's Doc Brown from the Back To The Future trio of pics.
The souped-up gadget can do for him what the DeLorean did for Marty McFly, but not nearly as exuberantly or engagingly as going back in time to 1955. He can master his life when it comes to his nagging wife or his frisky dog, Sundance, among other things. Michael can zig-zag through his life in a "Mevo" sort of way. As the story, devised by Sandler and Mark O'Keefe, plods on, especially in the latter going, the remote is able to keep him from experiencing life's more crucial moments.
It takes some time for Michael to realize the power of pressing certain buttons. That provides some of the puerile amusement for the Sandler supporters as characters like Hasselhoff and Sean Astin (not far from the George McFly character, especially in a flash-forward) get their share of ridicule.
The direction by Frank Coraci is hardly inspired to get one over the tedious, sometimes monotonous expressiveness, glossed over by an ambitious production, abetted by specialists like make-up whiz Rick Baker. The motif obviously connects with George Bailey in not forgetting the importance of those dearest in your life. Like Cars, it's about the journey, not skipping what gets the desired result when it comes to personal or professional nirvana.
The sharp dramatic focus late in the proceedings allow for some touching moments for Beckinsale, otherwise bland beyond the photogenic, and Henry Winkler as Michael's father with a knack for making part of a quarter disappear. But, the chances to have one's life being like a DVD with all the accoutrements is more of a pastiche than a stylish work up of humor and melodrama even if Sandler appears to be maturing as an actor. It's just not nearly as ingratiating or strangely endearing like The Wedding Singer or Punch-Drunk Love, as floozies, speedos, and doggie-style wins out over It's A Wonderful Life.