movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link] We rented this due to seeing the preview and loving the gimmick! I had previously twitter/LJ’ed a micro-blog stating, “When I die, I want to be able to see the deleted scenes… From my life.” (Read the LJ discussions that evolved here.) Angel had mentioned that she thought the director’s commentary might be even better. Well, this movie had exactly that! He turned on audiocommentary mode while reviewing old moments of his life — and the audiocommentary voice was James Earl Jones. (“He does a lot of voice over work.”)

PEOPLE: Adam Sandler, Christopher Walken, and Kate Beckinsdale (who I thought was Mary Louise Parker until we looked at the Netflix sleeve) are the 3 main characters. There’s also David Hasselhoff as the 4th-most on screen character. Walken was great, as usual, and Sandler was his usual self — almost the same guy in every movie that he’s in, except this time he’s a stressed-out workaholic. Also, Julie Kavner (aka Marge Simpson from The Simpsons) plays a bit part. I almost didn’t recognize her.

QUIRKS: Adam Sandler typically implies comedy, and even the trailer for this movie made it look like a comedy with a bit of conflict. In fact, I would not call this a comedy at all. It’s a comedic (in a fantasy/sci-fi kind of way) for the first half of the movie, but the movie as a whole is NOT a comedy. It’s more of a black comedy dramatic horror. The 2nd half of the movie is NOT FUNNY. And this is fine; Hollywood optimizes its marketing to make money, not to properly inform you of the movie. The Truman Show came off as a comedy too — but I’d consider that a black comedy dramatic horror as well. (And, to a lesser extent, Teeth fits the bill as well, but with Teeth, it’s only the premise that is comedic, not the content of the actual movie.) So…. Don’t go into this expecting to laugh past the 50% mark. Carolyn even called it — she said, “Uh oh! I think this is where the depressing stuff starts!”, and was right. You see, the “magic” remote control is like a Tivo, learning its user’s habits. So if you always fast forward through a shower — eventually it will fast forward through all showers automatically. Things get really bad with the remote behaving automatically, at one point [highlight for spoilers] he loses 10 years of his life due to an automatic fast-forwarding.

BAD STUFF: I think a lot of people were disappointed in this movie due to the way it was portrayed. The Hollywood marketeers will say anything to get people to pay up for a movie ticket, and pretending this movie isn’t sad is just another corporate lie. This was a tear jerker by the end, plain and simple. Ian convinced me rather quickly that drama is actually much easier than comedy, because it is quite easy to manipulate viewers into having strong emotions. Be that as it may, this movie was the epitome of regret. Forget The Last Unicorn — the regret here is much deeper, and the fact that it takes place in the real world (and not a unicorn-filled fantasy world) makes it easier to identify with the very real human emotion of regret. The scene near the end where Adam Sandler [highlight for spoilers] basically sacrifices his life in order to get ONE message to his son to GO ON YOUR HONEYMOON and not waste his life working all the time, was incredibly touching, as was the scene [highlight for spoilers] where he realized he fast forwarded through the rest of his parent’s life, rewind, and views the very last time he ever saw his father, during which he regrettably acted like a total dismissive douchebag. I feel a little dirty because Adam Sandler was involved, but Carolyn & me both agree completely on this movie being profound.

CONCLUSION: We both rated it 5 stars on Netflix! Perhaps all these people telling us Be Kind Rewind would be better to watch — and that they want to avoid this movie — helped lower our expectations such that they were exceeded. But honestly… This was way better than we expected. Carolyn had some problems with the pacing near the 40% mark, but that did not dull her opinion that this is a 5 stars movie. I’d probably give this at lest an 8 on IMDB. This should have just been a straight comedy, but as a drama is was probably more intense than it ever could have been as a comedy.

RECOMMENDATION: Unless you are automatically repelled by all things Sandler, you should probably check this out. If you like “What If?” scenarios and the “magic remote control that does anything” gimmick, you should probably check this out. If you’ve ever felt regret, or thought that at times life may have passed you by — or if you work more than 40 hours a week — you definitely need to see this. It may provide some perspective that would help you set your priorities. Above all, when you think “Adam Sandler movie”, know that this is about as typical of a Sandler movie as The Truman Show was for Jim Carrey. That is to say, both movies are atypical for the actors involved.

MOVIE QUOTE: Christopher Walken, metaphorically talking about the Lucky Charms leprochaun: “He’s always chasing the pot of gold, but when he gets there, at the end of the day, it’s just corn flakes.”

COINCIDENCES: Date Movie & Click – two movies in a week with lucious hottie Sophie Monk.

FRIENDS’ RATINGS: Tatiana really liked it. Rebekah didn’t like it.
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