Adam Sandler had a good run. Three movies in a row I walked out of liking each one. The Longest Yard was hilarious and nothing near the sacrilege it initially appeared to be. Spanglish was an adorable, heartbreaking little piece of comedy. And 50 First Dates, while frontloaded with Sandlerisms, managed to pull out of its nosedive after the first act as if the director had smacked Sandler around a bit and said “Are you quite done? Good. Let’s make a good movie now and quit with the big dicked walrus jokes.” Sure there were some moments in The Longest Yard and 50 First Dates that were just too Sandler for me, but overall I found them much smarter than his usual fare. But he was bound to make something I didn’t like. He had to. If he’d gone any longer without a good old fashioned fart joke, people might have begun to start taking him seriously. Which brings me to Click.
You know, for a few minutes there, while watching the trailer, I’d begun to believe that Sandler was finally maturing as a comedian and was beginning to make lovable comedies free of his thirteen year old sensibilities. But that just ain’t so. On the contrary, Click is kind of a return to form for Sandler, integrating the sappy sweetness of his recent films with the puerile, man-child dick and fart joke humor of his older work. And while this may delight his fans (it will) it’s certainly not going to win him any new ones from the ranks of those tired of his shticks.
Hmmm…and old school Sandler film without a funny voice? Could there be a Rob Schneider cameo (with a funny voice) in there somewhere? Yup. How about a gag that involves farting in someone’s face? Oh yeah. Maybe some sexually inappropriate animal humor? Does a dog dry-humping a stuffed animal about a dozen times in the film count? Then yes. Yes it does.
Unfortunately, the film offers little else in the way of comedy. There are a few, sparsely placed jokes that are solid and clearly belong in a better movie, but that’s about it. But if stuffed animal humping dogs makes you giggle like nobodies business, this is definitely the film for you.
Click is effectively a Twilight Zone episode retelling of It’s a Wonderful Life crossed with Rip Van Winkle, set in the universe of Liar, Liar and Bruce Almighty, without being half as interesting as all that sounds. Add in a layer of overtly emotionally manipulative story elements and you end up with a film too sappy for some and too sophomoric for others.
It’s certainly not despicable. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t care for it much either. Once the movie gets its premise set up and we’re treated to a series of Adam Sandler altering the laws of reality jokes, the movie veers off in a direction that simply gets too repetitious for its own good. The subsequent broken fast forward feature leads to a long, monotonous, one-note string of Whaaa? How much time has passed? You’re how old? What happened? Immediately followed by a string of answers that leads to FAST FORWARD Whaaa? How much time has passed? You’re how old? What happened? which leads to FAST FORWARD…for the last 45 minutes of the film. That’s when it ceases to be sweet and begins to get just plain heavy handed.
By the last twenty minutes, I had literally pulled out a cigarette and began anxiously chewing on the filter just waiting for the damned thing to end. Come on, we get it! Just skip to the fucking moral and get on with it! Alas…chew, chew, chew.
But it was fun to see Walken hamming it up in his limited screen time (clearly having as much fun as he has on SNL.) And for those who would readily drop 10 bucks to watch Kate Beckinsale eat lasagna for 2 hours (as long as her pants were tight enough) then there’s plenty of her being adorable in skimpy shorts to feast your eyes on. Sadly, this isn’t quite enough to fully satisfy those who enjoy slightly more sophisticated comedy than Dog on Stuffed Duck action.
I just can’t get over the idea that had they cut out the crude humor and swearing, this could have made a really sweet little family film. Or conversely, had they toned down the sweetness and played up some of the ribald ideas they were hinting at, they could have had a fun, raunchy, 80’s style comedy on their hands. Click, however, stands squarely in the middle, going a little too far on each end to really make something that is either.
Sandler fans and more forgiving comedy audiences will probably enjoy its saccharine flavor and crude aftertaste. If you’re the type that thinks Sandler can do no wrong or that Liar, Liar and Bruce Almighty are works of comic genius – you’ll probably get a kick out of this film. It’s cute enough and made fans laugh enough to merit recommending it to you. Otherwise, there’s simply not enough to like to warrant this being anything beyond a Saturday afternoon cable movie.
Until next time friends, smoke ‘em if ya got ‘em. I know I will.