Adam Sandler as Michael Newman
Kate Beckinsale as Donna Newman
Christopher Walken as Morty
David Hasselhoff as Ammer
Henry Winkler as Ted
Julie Kavner as Trudy
Sean Astin as Bill
Joseph Castanon as Ben Newman at 7-Years-Old
Jonah Hill as Ben Newman at 17-Years-Old
Jake Hoffman as Ben Newman at 22-30 Years-Old
Tatum McCann as Samantha Newman at 5-Years-Old
Lorraine Nicholson as Samantha Newman at 14-Years-Old
Katie Cassidy as Samantha Newman at 22-30 Years-Old
Cameron Monaghan as Kevin O’Doyle
Jennifer Coolidge as Janine

Michael Newman (Adam Sandler) is an industrious and talented architect and a loving and caring family man; unfortunately he doesn’t always have time to be both. Overwhelmed by the pressures and responsibilities of modern adult life, he wishes, like many people, for something – anything – to make his life just a little easier. Unlike most people his wish is actually granted in the form of a remote control that affects the real world.

It’s Dickens “A Christmas Carol” or, for a more modern context, Capra’s “It’s a Wonderful Life;” a standard Hollywood morality tale that, because it is Hollywood, tends to be more than a bit oversimplified, but is still often funny and heartfelt as well.

It’s not a bad idea for a movie, but once the initial fun of the gag wears off it’s more cute than actually funny. To make up for it, screenwriters Steve Koren and Mark O’Keefe (“Bruce Almighty”) have inserted a few random characters like sex-maniac Janine (Jennifer Coolidge) and Michael’s apparently disturbed secretary (Rachel Dratch) who don’t really have anything to do with anything except to add a level of occasionally-inspired absurdity to the film in order to keep it from getting overly maudlin or dull. They’re funny, but they don’t really fit; it feels like they were slapped on like a tire patch because nothing better could be thought of. It often seems easy and not well thought out, which pretty much sums up the downside of the film.

Much better utilized are Sean Astin as the family man Michael should be and Hasselhoff as the all-work-and-no-substance man he is in danger of becoming. Hasselhoff in particular is terrifically smarmy. Everyone is a foil for Sandler though, but for the most part he carries it off. Occasionally it devolves into the kind of puerile nonsense Sandler has been known for, but it is just as often sharply absurd and genuinely funny. Sandler does pent-up anger and self-loathing extremely well, but he’s grown enough as an actor over the years to bring a believable human element to Michael as well, which is what more than anything pulls the film off. Director Coraci (“The Waterboy”) overplays his hand quite a bit, particularly in dramatic scenes like Michael’s final farewell to his father (Henry Winkler).

“Click” brings up some very real problems of the responsibilities of adult life, problems that many people find themselves lost in, but it answers them with typical Hollywood platitudes that don’t take into account all of the difficulties of real life. Granted, the film is about having fun not trying to find solutions to the problems of modern existence, but it still seems a bit disingenuous.

A new re-telling of a classic fable about the importance of human connections over materialism, “Click” is entertaining but too easy to be really affecting.

Box Office

Weekend: Nov. 15, 2018, Nov. 18, 2018

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