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Click (0/10)

by Tony Medley

This is a tawdry, clumsy, unfunny, unsuccessful attempt at entertainment. Just as an example of the intellectual level of this film, one of its running gags, you should pardon the expression, is a dog that tries to hump a stuffed animal.

Michael Newman (Adam Sandler) is a struggling architect who puts his job before his wife, Donna (Kate Beckinsale), and two children, Ben (Joseph Castanon) and Samantha (Tatum McCann). He goes to Bed, Bath, and Beyond in another flagrant example of corporate placement, and meets Morty (Christopher Walken) in the Beyond section. Morty gives him a magical remote control that can stop, rewind, and fast forward Michaelís life. While this is a terrific comedic premise upon which talented people could create a captivating comedy, the wrong people got a hold of it.

Right at the outset the film is on a downer because neither of the two children can act their way out of a paper bag. With the plethora of talented child actors around in Hollywood today, the fact that these two found their way into this film is a pretty telling commentary on the quality of the people making it. They donít speak their lines, they repeat something theyíve read.

Even worse is the makeup. Because the film goes forward and backwards, the people have to look old and young. The makeup in the final scenes of Michaelís mother, Trudy Newman (Julie Kavner), is ludicrous.

The character development isnít good enough to pass them off as papier m‚chť cutouts. David Hasselhof plays Michaelís boss, who supposedly runs a top flight architectural firm. In order for this film to be believable, Michaelís boss needs to be a credible character, someone Michael respects and whose approval Michael desires. Instead, director Frank Coraci and writers Steve Koren and Mark OíKeefe have created an imbecile that would inspire nothing but contempt.

All this might be OK if this were intended as a mindless comedy. But it is obviously intended as a serious, black comedy with a premise that oneís family is far more important to his life than his job. Unfortunately, while it is black and mindless, it is so unfunny it could never be thought of as a comedy.

Lost in this maelstrom of bad writing, inept acting and dismal directing is Kate Beckinsale. She is not only beautiful, she overcomes everything bad about this film and gives a valiant, professional performance.

This film is such a squirming, watch checking, horrible experience I was wishing for a magical remote that would click it off.

June 22, 2006

 

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