Click

Film
CONTROL FREAK Sandler wants to turn back time.
CONTROL FREAK Sandler wants to turn back time.

Time Out says

Snobs regularly scratch their heads over the popularity of Adam Sandler. Kids, who are obviously smarter, fall for his charms pretty quickly: The comedian projects an instantly amiable screen presence without ever seeming needy. Precisely what to do with his talent remains elusive. Though he works best in lowbrow comedies (Billy Madison) and artier fare (Punch-Drunk Love), Sandler increasingly favors neutral formula pictures. Hence Click, in which he portrays an overwhelmed family man who acquires a clicker that allows him to treat life like an acutely high-definition television. Most warm-blooded men with access to such a device and Kate Beckinsale as a wife would be on cloud nine; trapped in a PG-13 film, however, the character opts to fast-forward through life’s unpleasant bits.

The bulk of the movie is funny. Sandler has a series of nicely mean-spirited exchanges with children and, in a sly thematic touch, is surrounded by an ensemble of TV vets (Henry Winkler, Julie Kavner and David Hasselhoff). But when the control goes haywire—dispatching the hero to a nightmarish realm involving chintzy futuristic cars—so too does Click, falling prey to the comic’s soft spot for the maudlin. It seems that Sandler aspires to channel Jimmy Stewart; the mystery is why somebody with Jerry Lewis’s flair would want such a fate. (Now playing; click here for venues.) — Jay Ruttenberg

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