Wednesday, August 02, 2006


I Like A Happy Family

Oh, I thought the world of you.
I thought nothing could go wrong,
But I was wrong. I was wrong.
If you, if you could get by, trying not to lie,
Things wouldn't be so confused and I wouldn't feel so used,
But you always really knew, I just wanna be with you.
- Linger, The Cranberries

With comedies, I half expected the best bits to make it to the trailers. They always do these days, and leave the actual movie much to be desired in the laughs department. Click however, was a totally different ball game altogether, not that it was lacking in laughs, but never did I expect the 2nd half of the movie to go where it went. It might be formulaic, but the message it has for the audience, rings through so effectively through Adam Sandler's performance.

Sandler plays Michael Newman, an extremely busy architect trying to find his way to the next big promotion, to be the business partner of his company alongside his boss Ammer (hammed up by David Hasselhoff). To Michael, he is working his butt off in order to provide for his family, and places work priority always as number 1, at the expense of family and quality time. He's uber mean, and vents his frustrations at the neighbour's kid (not that he's any way likable to begin with). In an effort to get a remote control to universally control all the electrical appliances at home, he chances upon a quirky salesman Morty (Christopher Walken) who gives him for free, one such device.

Not before long, Michael learns of the power of the "universal remote", and his entire life becomes a DVD menu - where he can playback, fast forward, and even watch certain milestones in his life with a James Earl Jones' voiced commentary. And it is here that the movie constantly churned out comedic situations after comedic situations, with all kinds of humour flying around at every turn.

But in the second half, the movie takes on dramatic proportions as in Sandler's earlier movie Spanglish, which I also enjoyed. Beneath the laughter, comes a serious reminder about our priorities, and it made me think, hard. Sure we all strive to excel at what we do, in order to eke out a living. It's always easier said than done, but it served as a good reminder, to those with families and kids, not to neglect them. The importance of putting family first, and achieving some form of work-life balance, sometimes get overlooked as we run the rat race.

Time never looks back, and once you miss the boat, that's it, and there's no practical way to rewind to key moments in life, like a movie can. In living life, there are always bounds and bounds of challenges. After all, aren't those challenges supposed to make life interesting? Instead of sidestepping issues and sweeping them under the carpet, we must learn to face them with gusto instead of looking for the easy way out. At times, choosing the easy way out will mean the missing out on the experience, which to me is a whole lot more costly.

But no worries, perhaps I'm just looking too deeply into the message in the movie, but you get my drift. And the cast is picture perfect, with Michael's parents (Henry Winkler and Julie Kavner - she voices Marge Simpson) providing an extended family feel to Michael's wife (the beautiful Kate Beckinsale) and two kids (Joseph Castanon and Tatum McCann). Sean Astin has a bit role here as a swimming coach, and there are plenty of "vase" babes in this movie, like Sophie Monk (Date Movie)

Fans of The Cranberries will also be pleased when a beautiful ballad from the band is played, and Dolores O'Riordan actually made an appearance too performing Linger. And by the time that happens, some in the audience would already be standing by, or using tissues already.

Click managed to keep its entire second, more serious act under wraps in the trailers, but when revealed in the movie, provided a more layered, adult theme in this comedy which makes one wonder, have you told your family you love them today?

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