Rewinding to 2006, “Click,” Starring Adam Sandler

Jeremy Garson

While the main point of the media column may be to discuss current media trends and discourse, this week I venture back to the prehistoric past, the year 2006 to be precise, in order to discuss Sony’s “Click,” the movie. This film may be a tad dated, but watching it on Netflix this weekend was one of the most thought provoking experiences I have had in the past few weeks – something my professors would be delighted to hear! Following a sudden whim to recharge my over-worked noggin, I went to Netflix to find a light comedy. “Click” fulfilled this desire and left me scrutinizing what I value most.

Adam Sandler plays Michael Newman, a family oriented architect trying his best to become a partner at his firm; this entails completing the unreasonable demands of his manipulative boss (David Hasselhoff), which means sacrificing family time and neglecting health. Michael claims his two beautiful kids and a smoking hot wife (Kate Beckinsale) are the center of his world and furthermore, that his uncompromising attitudes towards work commitments stem from Michael’s desire to give these people a better life than he ever dreamed of.

Following a frustrating rant about how he deserves a universal remote just as much as his neighbors, Michael takes a late night trip to Bed Bath & Beyond. Newman searches in vain for a remote control but only finds bath and bed products. Noting that his life is miserable, Michael reclines on a bed only to spot a hilarious “beyond” section of the store. He follows the sign into this workshop room where a quirky scientist named Morty (Christopher Walken) promises him the latest Universal Remote, free of charge.

Michael quickly realizes that the universality of his little blue remote extends its control way beyond the realm of household appliances. With just a click, Michael can stop time, watch old episodes of his life and skip forward to a desired time in his life. Michael begins skipping arguments, boring morning routines like showering and the segment of his life leading up to his promotion. When Michael hits fast forward, his body robotically interacts with the environment unemotionally while working toward the goal Michael had in mind before clicking fast forward. This satirizes a life outlook solely concerned with achieving the next goal, an outlook that obstructs enjoyment of the many details found in the journey.

Things get out of control when the remote starts skipping things Michael dislikes without his consent, leading to a succession of horrible events that include losing his wife, becoming obese and missing the death of his father and the childhood of his kids. Michael has an emotional breakdown watching his fast-forward-self turn down his father’s request for a boy’s night out. While Michael’s personal life has decomposed, his futuristic company displays his “Architect of the Year” achievement in the main lobby. Morty, the scientist who gives him the remote, makes an insightful allusion to the Lucky Charms commercial. Lucky, the leprechaun, spends all of his time chasing after a rainbow, but, in the end, he only receives a bowl of cereal instead of a pot of gold. The future Newman has attained is notably less sweet than the future he wanted to find. Coming to the conclusion that family comes first, Michael wakes up in the same Bed Bath & Beyond, leaving the preceding experiences as figments of his imagination.

Ultimately, I believe this movie conveys the idea that we all have access to a Universal Remote of sorts. We determine how we structure our time and what we hold as valuable. Impressive careers await hardworking and lucky students after Colgate, but what about happiness? Is it an elusive ideal propagated by movies or is it a tangible concept that reflects living a life harmoniously balanced between working hard for material substance while sanctifying the limited time we have with friends and family? Unless you are a character in an Adam Sandler flick, you probably do not get to redo segments of your life. The aftermath of these decisions eventually shows up in the form of positive or negative consequences down the road. The fulfillment of one area in life, our careers, may come at the expense of other life areas, namely personal time.

The objective for most Colgate students in the next two weeks is to crank out final assignments and study to tackle intimidating final exams, the tall wall standing in the way of summer vacation or, sadly, graduation for seniors. Open your mind’s eye and enjoy the scenic imagery as life begins to blossom and remember that rough times are a necessary contrast to good times. Life goes fast, almost as fast as a click of the button as Adam Sandler shows, so make the most out of yours and do not shy away from spontaneity.