[August 14, 2006]
Regrets, I had collected a whole library of them and I’m going to sure regret watching Click in the pirated DVD version instead in THX. Blame it on Sandler’s previous movies with the exception of The Wedding Singer and 50 First Dates which has all surpassed my expectations, the rest of his films revolve around humor of the toilet kind. Well I thought Click was not a movie experience for the “surround-sound” cinema kind. Add the fact that this movie was getting reviews of a “seen that” kind of ending. Damn! I was wrong! Dead wrong!
Ten minutes has passed after I clicked “X” on the Microsoft Windows Media Player but I have to admit I am still suspended in disbelief. That’s how movies are supposed to be right? Suspend your disbelief, immense the viewer in a different dimension. I have to give Sandler credit for this latest film of his. It goes on my top movie list. By the way this is in no way a movie review, just my insights.
I’ll be assuming you’ve watched it already but if you haven’t, I strongly suggest you go watch it. It’s a good film. There’s a good twist, not in the story err there’s a twist in the story but a predictable one, it truly has a “seen that” ending and a “known that” mysterious character. The real twist and I don’t know if the writer Steve O Keefe really wanted it is that Click is a comedy film with very, very serious undertones that we most likely take for granted. Well for me the undertones are really that serious. Click is a serious comedy to be precise. Usually when you saw the trailer of most movies you could actually say you’ve seen the good scenes, however, Click’s trailer is just the quarter of the film you have to watch it to really appreciate it. Also, after you’re finished, let 10 to 20 minutes pass, after that, it will all sink in.
Now maybe you’re wondering why this post is titled like this. Now that’s the “CSI part.” I’m pretty sure that having watched The Godfather a hundred times (really) is solely not the reason why I relate these two movies. But, yeah, having watched it a hundred times might suggest why I find a relation between the two (hope that makes sense) but for now let that conspiracy theory be for conspiracy theorists and the investigating to the CSI techs.
First, both movies, though indirectly, hints of the importance of family (The Godfather was a demonstration of a slice of life in the criminal world, while Click is about having a universal remote that controls your universe) and both leads are named Michael who, incidentally are both doing what they know is best for their families. Well, Pacino’s family is The Mafia while Sandler’s family is a real family like yours and mine. However both regard their families as true families with real blood relations. (I certainly hope I didn’t lose you there) and both would do anything in their power to do what is good if not only the best for their families. Just hearing Sandler say “I want what’s best for our kids, I want them to have all the luxuries in the world” makes you realize what great lengths parents would go just for their children.
And there resides the predicament both films undertone. At what expense is the best for their families? Pacino would do whatever it takes just to keep his “family” in one piece, that “whatever it takes” includes murder. With Sandler, every time he fast forwards his life it runs on auto-pilot and he becomes this zombie-like creature all engrossed in work. I’ll take this opportunity to expound my take on that “engrossed in work.” Nine years ago and until about half a decade later, I said to myself I won’t be like everyone else. I won’t be working in shifts burning my butt on leather upholstered electric chairs inside a glass and granite contemporary architecture.
Hell! Since I was seven I was already learning in a learning center then came elementary where you learn elementary skills then high school where you learn, is it OK to say higher? And college where you, well, still learn. I don’t think anyone would ever forget that we spent the first quarter of our lives learning. Has it ever occurred to you that ever since we could remember when we were children, we wake up in the morning going home in the afternoon and doing that same thing all over again for 17 years? Then we find out after that what we have been learning during the first quarter of our lives was actually a training period for what we’re going to do for the rest of our lives. Talk about destiny! Or did we really believe what everyone tried to foster upon us during our youth that we are in complete control of our lives? Yes? And how then do you explain my analogy in this paragraph?
Seeing Sandler in the movie in auto-pilot all engrossed in work kind of reminds me why I hate the life of a non-golden spoon fed child. Well who can blame him? He has to work his ass off so that his kids don’t fall under the same situation. (Reminds me of my parents, the best in the world) Doesn’t it makes you hate what we have to do well beyond the first quarter of our lives? Well that was my opinion half a decade ago, when my vigor and idealism were still at its peak. Now I’m resigned err admitted to the fact that we, as all have done before us, will have to eventually be included in the cycle of life that has spanned for thousands of years. We have to work for our keep. That is nature, human nature to be exact. But if your family name happens to be engraved as Ayala, Gokongwei or any of their surname equivalent, completely disregard what I’ve said, you probably have no idea what I’m talking about.
Another similarity is both Michaels are too much focused on delivering the best for their families that they have forgotten who their dedicating their lives and work for—their families. The Godfather glides along that curve but Click directly tackles that aspect. Still, that is a connection. Sandler eventually fast-forwards thru the supposedly insignificant phases of his life, making love to his wife; eating dinner with the family; getting dressed-up for work; the arguments. Well that’s what he thought, that’s what everyone might think, however, think again. Isn’t those seemingly, insignificant moments of our life the most important? Those parts which we normally take for granted is what really makes us stronger as family. You can have all the promotions in the world or own the most expensive Ferrari or have the controlling stock in Microsoft but in the end will those ever substitute for the kiss and make up part of an argument? Or the debates you engage in while eating at the table?
What I’m trying to get at is we will never have a perfect family. No matter how hard we try. Ideals will always be ideals and your ideal someone only exists in the existing plane of genies and fairy-godmothers. There are only real persons who will always have flaws. Ideal ones are just wishful thinking. I remember a week ago what I said when I was having beer with a childhood friend of mine “the reason why people cheat with the ones they love is because his or her significant other isn’t 100% perfect, say only at 90%, then comes someone who has the 10% percent lacking from the one they love. And then comes the affair. You long for that 10% so you give up everything you hold dear for the bearer of that 10% not knowing that you already have the best of the world with long-term love who has the 90%. Learn to let go of the 10% and be heavenly thankful that you have the 90%.” Loving someone truly doesn’t mean you have to mend the flaws rather true love is when you learn to accept that someone is flawed and still find yourself in-love with that someone.
What I’m saying is if perfection does exist then we wouldn’t be calling this Earth rather we would be in chorus that we live in Eden. “Family first” Sandler said near the end of the movie. I totally agree. He has a great family at the beginning of the film. And speaking of great families, I now remember my brother’s family when they came here barely a month ago. My younger brother is all grown up now, well beyond my years. And seeing his family and how he and his wife are together and how they’re bringing up Jesse makes me proud of them (very proud at that!) I know I said perfection doesn’t exist but Joseph and Mary’s family can be a model of how families should be. I don’t know if it’s a coincidence of some sort or anything Divine but I think I’ve heard of another family with those same names 20 centuries ago. (I’d like to elaborate but this post is going way too long than it should be, maybe I’ll post a new one for them anytime soon, they certainly deserve that) Now if only during the first part of Click, Sandler got to know them.
And this is the similarity that hits home. Remember the part when Sandler was all very, very successful and being recognized as Architect of the Year. If you’ve watched The Godfather 3 it’s a parallel plot of when Michael Corleone after being inducted into the Order of St. Sebastian, the highest recognition a Pope could ever bestow on members of the church, is trying getting his family back. With all those white hair on both Michaels, it clearly depicts a very important part in your life, near the end of your life, when you’re at the summit of the “Everest” of your ambitions, when you’ve come to realize that though in your head you prioritized your family, in the end it was the least of your priorities because you were all absorbed to get high and mighty, well, at first, the intentions were noble because it is for the betterment of your family. But in the end, success after success and promotions after promotions you’re still unsatisfied.
Human nature—always shooting for the next higher level until you get to the top and you eventually choke and die and realize; Fuck! I lost the ones I would die to keep; all because of your overrated ambitions in life; all because of that fucking degree that you hoped your daughter would be proud of; all because of the fucking notion of society that anyone who doesn’t have a degree is nobody that you can be proud of. Fuck that notion and screw anyone who believes in that fucking lie! Degree or no degree! Who cares! Believe me I know how it feels. And I really hate in the strongest possible terms knowing how it feels!
In the end Michael Corleone in The Godfather almost succeeds in having his family one again, almost, because he suffers the stigma of losing a family member in the end. Reparation of what he was when he was high and mighty. However Click offers a happier ending. That’s where Click offers a glimmer of hope to anyone like both Michaels. Or maybe Christopher Walken as Morty was right when he said “good guys deserve a break” Or maybe I’m just trying to make sense of everything and hoping that there will always be a happier ending since I prefer a tragic ending. Like the Untitled song goes “how could this happen to me?” that pretty says it all, we always question why the bad happens to us. We always assume that there is someone out there who deserves the bitter judgment that has befallen us. Dead wrong again, we deserve this, I deserve this, I just look forward to being corrected.
To conclude, Click is a good movie despite the fact of a happy ending. I’m more into tragedy, for me it’s more real. (Look at the greatest tragedy that is GMA, real Philippines, fake president equates to real life—Tragic! But real) It would have been better if it ended when Morty claimed Sandler’s life, well, Click is a family movie, literally and figuratively and that is really how it is supposed to end. When Sandler tried to lie on the bed and then suddenly rose to see the “Beyond” sign at Bed, Bath & Beyond, I knew then that it was all going to be a dream. Still, Click managed to suspend that belief. For me, that’s one criteria of a good film. No matter how much you know how it’s going to end you still end up watching it not only out of curiosity but because it has suspended your disbelief.
And there’s a lesson blatantly in your face. Success as we all should know is finding the right balance between work and family; between ambition and the time you spend with relatives; finding the right amount of equilibrium between occupation and love. Because if you don’t, you’ll end up envious of those husbands who work their ass off yet still go home and manage to keep their family happily intact. With that in mind, I’d like to paraphrase Nine Days—the answers we find are never really what we always had in mind, so we have to make it all up as we go along in life, we do not need to talk of dreams or even mention tomorrow, what is important is that we shouldn’t make any promises that we cannot keep. That is a straight-in-your face advice from a song five years of age and you don’t have to pay a shrink who’ll counsel you with the same line.
Lastly, Morty hits the bull’s eye when he said “all my life I’ve been chasing the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow only to find out that at the end of the day it’s nothing but… cornflakes.” All my life I had my pot of gold with me but I pursued that dream not knowing I already have it with me and now I have that degree, only now with cornflakes. I would give up anything I have now to wake up on a bed anywhere and not have the universal remote. I hope dreams do come true for this time again; the dream that all along it was all just a dream. Another very important lesson is being very happy with the 90%; you just long for that 10%; be content; you’ll be disappointed to know that the 10% is truly nothing but…cornflakes at the end of the day. A medium-well sirloin or rib-eye against cornflakes, I’ll have Outback for the rest of my life.