Monday, June 26, 2006

Click! movie review

This movie was a lot more interesting than I thought it would be. It could have just been a gimmick movie about a guy who gets a magic remote control that has the power to mute noisy dogs, fast forward through arguments, and make chesty joggers jiggle in slow motion. Well, it had all that stuff. But I was surprised to find a deeper than usual twist in this plot. The main character, Michael, finds that he has inadvertently programmed his remote to automatically skip by parts of his life that he doesn’t like. Things like fights with his wife, dinner with his parents, listening to his kids complain, and waiting for his job promotions. So he ends up zapping through his life only catching moments of it and witnessing the mess it has become. (When he fast-forwards, his body just goes on default mode.) In the end his wife has left him, he missed his father's funeral, and his son has learned that business should always come before family. When he dies, in good Christmas Carol tradition he is transported back to before it all happens, and with the knowledge he now has, he makes better choices. On the surface the message is just that family should come first, but there are hints at a deeper meaning sprinkled throughout the film. It's not just 'family' in the generic Hallmark sense that is promoted here. But the long-suffering, patience, heart-ache, forgiveness, and all those other uncomfortable aspects of being a family that are at the heart of the story. Those are what Michael was tuning out and escaping. Scrooge was actively evil, while Michael was passively evil. Rather than engaging the difficulties of life, he just tuned them out. It's a defense mechanism most people activate on a daily basis. It's a sin that is very insidious because of its subtle nature. And it's an important issue to address in this culture that believes that all hardship is bad and should be avoided. This movie is a morality tale that shows the results of that way of thinking.

Sadly, the movie is so full of crude humor and language that it counteracts a good deal of the positive message underneath. It's like having a urine-soaked bum with an erection yelling the gospel at you in a crowed bus stop.