Release year: 2006
Director: Frank Coraci
Screenwriter: Steve Koren, Mark O’Keefe
Starring: Adam Sandler, Kate Beckinsale, Christopher Walken, David Hasselhof, Henry Wilker, Julie Kavner, Sean Astin, Jennifer Coolidge
Ratings: 1 Oscar nomination: Best Makeup.
Michael Newman (Adam Sandler) is a workaholic architect always wanting more and better. Problem is that earning the money he wants means he is neglecting his family. When a mysterious man (Christopher Walken) offers him the solution in form of a remote control with special abilities, all his prayers seems to have been answered. But maybe he didn’t wish for the right things.
Frank Coraci has worked several times with Adam Sandler and here has created a comedy with a deeper meaning and more sad moments than usually seen by Sandler. Clearly inspired by It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) with the always interesting Walken (Hairspray, 2007) appearing as the saving angel, the movie starts out the usually funny Sandler vehicle but halfway through it gets serious. Instead of fast forwarding over the hard stuff, the movie takes time to make the message heard by the lead character which results in more character development than what is mostly seen in Sandler’s comedy movies. Beckinsale (Underworld, 2003) is sweet as his wife and Wilker (The Waterboy, 1998) and Kavner (Forget Paris, 1995) finds a perfect balance between adorable and annoying as Michael’s parents while Hasselhof (Piranha 3DD, 2012) and Coolidge (Legally Blonde, 2001) are wonderfully quirky as his boss and his wife’s best friend. The comedy is more mainstream than other Sandler comedies and with the deeper drama added this is for a wider audience than his movies often is.
The coin trick that Henry Winkler does in the movie is something the actor does in real life. During public appearances, Winkler will often do the trick for children.
Picture copyrights: NF Film