A temporary home and repository for television and film critic Daniel Fienberg, formerly of HitFix.com and Zap2it.com and one half of The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast.
Friday, June 02, 2006
Director: Frank Coraci
Fien Print Rating (Out of 100): 41
In a Nutshell: It's only four years since "Mr. Deeds," but Adam Sandler is back to robbing Frank Capra's vault with "Click," an uncredited but thematic heist of "It's a Wonderful Life" and several other facets of the Capra-esque canon. Then again, the movie rips off everything from "Groundhog Day" to "Multiplicity" to "Mom and Dad Save the World," so it's tough to keep track. Whatever it is, I sense that it'll really work for some people and not just because the gal sitting next to me at the screening was bawling by the end. This is Adam Sandler in funny mode (not the respect-seeking Sandler of "Spanglish" or the brilliant "Punch-Drunk Love"), but with the laughs turned way down in favor of the schmaltz. Our hero spends around 105 or 110 minutes learning that he's been making the wrong choices in his life and that he needs to slow down and love his family, a lesson he can only learn with the help of an effectively loopy Christopher Walken (his enunciation of "remote control" the first time he says it is a thing of beauty) a magical universal remote and lots and lots of makeup effects. Just like "Big Daddy" before it, this marks an evolution of the Sandler persona. However, while I mentioned the tears, I also got the feeling that the audience's mirth was somewhat lower than it should have been. The movie never entirely captures the promise of its premise, the elation of a man who's suddenly in complete control of his universe after being a punching bag for too long. For me, it never earned its attempted third act emotions, which is why my eyes were dry. But maybe I'm just heartless? [On a side note, Kate Beckinsale, a powerfully lovely woman, is just wasted here. I wish Sandler had gone back to her earlier films -- things like "Much Ado" and "Cold Comfort Farm" -- to discover that this is a woman who can be funny under the right circumstances.]
My review will be up on Zap2it on or around June 23.
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