I like Adam Sandler better the way he used to be. As a cast member of television's Saturday Night Live, and later as the star of such mindless-but-funny hits as Happy Gilmore, Billy Madison and Big Daddy, Sandler's style of goof ball, kick-to-the-crotch physical humor played perfectly. Those films made millions and twenty-somethings around the country continue to revel in "Sandler Night" college film showings. He knew who he was back then and he did it well. Then came Punch Drunk Love, which was not only touted as Sandler's first dramatic role, but also marked the point at which he turned his back on his legacy. He wanted to be known as a serious dramatic actor. But now with Click it seems he's changed again. He wants to be the serious dramatic actor that can still take a kick to the crotch and pass gas with the best of them. I'm confused.

In Click, a modern-day, non-Christmas knockoff of the Frank Capra classic, It's a Wonderful Life, Sandler is Michael Newman, a workaholic architect in search of a universal remote control that will allow him to regain control of the conglomeration of various remotes in his living room. He feels that by simplifying his remote control chaos, somehow his life will become simpler as well. I can sympathize.

Finding that most of the big-box electronics venues are closed, Michael ventures into the local Bed, Bath & Beyond where he meets a frizzy-haired, bug-eyed employee named Morty (Christopher Walken) who works in the "Beyond" department. Now we finally know what the "Beyond" of the store's title is. Morty gives Michael a high-tech prototype of a universal remote control that will allow him to apply DVD-like features to his life. Things like fast-forward, mute audio, reverse, chapter-skip and more. He fast-forwards through arguments with his wife (Kate Beckinsale), and rewinds to watch moments of his own childhood. In addition, Michael can view extra features like the "making-of" of his life in which the remote zooms him back to his parents' bedroom as they are conceiving him. That's something none of us needs to see.

These thought-provoking devices are fun to watch and often remind us of the clever conundrums presented in the Back to the Future films. But unfortunately, they usually lead to someone getting kicked in the nuts, hit in the head, or being farted on. That worksin The Waterboy or Little Nicky. But remember, Sandler is trying to position himself as a fine, dramatic actor.

We all know you can't alter time without some serious ramifications. In Michael's case, all his skipping of the bad parts and hitting only the highlights of his life means he's been in autopilot and never had the chance to actually experience the pleasures of life. And that's the lesson learned in Click. "We need to live in the present to truly enjoy life."

In spite of its juvenile humor and junior high sight gags, the film's soft heart and noble intentions do occasionally manage to shine through. Sandler's Michael is truly a good guy at heart, so we never have trouble sympathizing with his plight. But subtlety and cleverness are an unexplored art here. Writer, Steve Koren's attempts to provide originality while trying to please the Adam Sandler fans, leaves the film hung out there in no man's land. Its funnier moments are stale, overused and downright stupid. And when it comes time to get serious, the drama is so over-the-top it seems out of place.

Click will most assuredly find an audience in its first week of release. But whether with the millions of "Sandlerites" expecting "Happy Gilmore with a magic remote", or those looking for something more closely resembling the brains of 2004's Spanglish, both sides will be a bit disappointed. The film's makers weren't able to find a happy balance between the two.


DVD Details:

Screen formats: Widescreen Anamorphic 1.85:1

Subtitles: English; French; Closed Captioned Closed Captioned

Language and Sound: English: Dolby Digital 5.1; French: Dolby Digital 5.1

Other Features: Color; interactive menus; scene access; deleted scenes; director's commentary; making-of featurette.

* Commentary - Feature-length audio commentary featuring Sandler, director Frank Coraci, executive producer Tim Herilhy and writer Steve Koren.
* Featurettes -
o "Make Me Old and Fat" featurette behind-the-scenes of the make-up effects
o "FX of Click" featurette a look at the special effects
o "Fine Cookin'" featurette Additional "Fat Suit" footage
o "Design My Universe" Production Design Featurette
o "Cars of the Future" featurette - A Look at the futuristic cars created for the film
o "Director's Take" featurette on the Director Frank Coraci
o "Dog, Dog, Duck" featurette on working with dogs
* Deleted Scenes -
o 4 scenes that didn't make the final cut

Number of discs: - 1- Keepcase Packaging