One desire that, at one time or another, pretty much everyone shares is a wish to manipulate reality — to slow down our weekends, fast-forward through jury duty and hit "pause" when that meter maid is about to write up a parking ticket. For the plot of Adam Sandler's upcoming film, "Click," the filmmakers tapped into that commonality and devised a comedy concept that most anyone who's ever handled a TV remote can relate to.
"I'm an architect named Michael Newman, and I work a lot," Sandler said during a recent interview about the film. "My children want to be with me, my wife wants to be with me, but there's not enough of me to go around — even though, deep down inside, I am a great man."
Laughing, he related how his amiable character's life is thrown into disarray when a mad inventor (Christopher Walken) gives him an experimental universal remote with the power to pause, rewind and fast-forward through his own life.
"I get really excited about this thing, and I'm the only guy who has one," Sandler said of the device. "The remote has a TiVo quality — if you record a show a few times, it [recognizes that and] records it for you. My guy fast-forwards through a few family fights and, next thing you know, anytime me and my wife are about to get into it, it zips forward."
All this zipping and zapping results in a conflict more thought-provoking than most Sandler comedies, as the audience watches the alternately hilarious and heartrending consequences — for instance, missing out on the joys of watching those you love grow up.
"I play Adam's and Kate Beckinsale's daughter at 27," actress Katie Cassidy, a 20-year-old in real life, said of one such mixed outcome. "It was weird because I was playing 17 in 'When a Stranger Calls,' and in 'Click' I'm playing 27."
"They gave me quite a large chest," she laughed, citing one amusing side effect of the film's imaginative concept. "I'm normally not like that."
The film's cast also includes "Underworld" butt-kicker Beckinsale, showing off her rarely used comedic skills as Sandler's argumentative wife.
"Kate is incredibly funny, a nice girl and fun to be around," Sandler raved, praising her comedic timing as he mentioned one other little-known skill in her arsenal. "She farts."
The supporting names, and the flatulence, don't end there.
"I had to put my buttocks close to his head in one scene, and blast something into his face," Sandler said, discussing a scene in which he gets revenge by pausing a discussion with his boss, played by David Hasselhoff. "A camera guy takes a little tape measure for focus reasons, so I had to stay in the spot, my buttocks about this close to old Hasselhoff's nose. I had to hold it as they were measuring for about three minutes or so. I think both of us vomited."
The "Baywatch" star wasn't the only one on the "Click" set sacrificing himself for art.
"The padding hurt, it was ridiculous," Cassidy remembered of the Dolly Parton-sized boobs given to the older version of her character. "My posture was bad. [At one point] Michael comments on my chest, and he doesn't realize that I'm his daughter."
Sandler recalled that the eclectic cast (which also includes Henry "The Fonz" Winkler and "SNL" vet Rachel Dratch) made for moments behind the camera that were nearly as odd as those in front.
"It's fun listening to Christopher Walken talk," Sandler said, laughing. "When he leaves a conversation he's always very satisfied, and the person he's talking to tends to have a bizarre look on his face, as if to say 'What was that? What just happened there?' "
Sandler enjoyed teasing self-parodying stars like Walken, Winkler and Hasselhoff, but he also knew when it was time to draw the line.
"Hasselhoff's a tough dude, I wouldn't want to fight him in real life," the comedian insisted. "You don't want him to get upset. He'll grab you, bring you out into the ocean, drown you and swim back. That's very Hasselhoffian. One crew guy, I remember, was a little loud. David threw his Speedo on, brought the guy out into the ocean, put him down."
For his own part, Sandler wastes no time speculating on what he'd do if he ever got hold of a real-life universal remote.
"My character gets to go back in time and see what he was like as a kid," Sandler marveled, his eyes lighting up. "I'd like to go back and find out when it was that I had to stop drinking chocolate shakes, because they were catching up to me and giving me triple chins. When I was 16, I would have, like, four shakes a night and it would mean nothing. I can't pinpoint it, but I'm guessing around 21 is when I started seeing a wider face."
While there, Sandler would also love to use a few of the device's special features to improve his teenage romantic techniques.
"I would definitely slow-mo my sexual episodes," Sandler laughed. "They tended to go very quickly — for everybody. I'd like to go back and slow my penis down."
"Click" hits theaters June 30 and, unlike some other special moments in Sandler's life, one can assume that this won't be a premature release.
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