Photo: Click: Tracy Bennett

He’s a solidly successful 39-year-old star, husband, and father, but Adam Sandler still coasts on American pop culture’s peculiar indulgence of boys who won’t grow up. In Click, he plays Michael Newman — an adult male in whom a big baby yearns to breathe free. Michael’s wife (Kate Beckinsale) and kids compete for his attention with his cartoon-mean boss (David Hasselhoff), who demands that he choose work over family. This is all too much for the excitable boy, and he feels out of control — until an eccentric department-store employee (Christopher Walken, the mention of whom makes the ”eccentric” qualifier charmingly redundant) sets him up with a universal remote more universal than the customer bargained for. (That Walken’s character goes by the death-tinged name of Morty ought to be a clue.) Fast-forwarding, pausing, and rewinding through his very life, Michael of course learns that nobody on a deathbed ever regretted not spending enough time at work, and that his is a wonderful life. At times dark and at other times gooey, the disgruntled comedy, directed by Sandler crony Frank Coraci, would itself like to be It’s a Wonderful Life, but Michael earns none of George Bailey’s mature wisdom honestly. Sandlerites are invited to discuss, at length, the appeal of the star’s ode to arrested development, while I marvel that, once again, the doofus is rewarded with a woman of unfurrowed beauty and saintly patience.

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