Hi, Adam Sandler. Why so serious?

This post is NOT a critique of Adam Sandler. I don’t know him very well, but I generally like him. I enjoy his movies. I liked Happy Gilmore and Billy Madison. I never saw Paul Blart: Mall Cop, but I heard it was better than you’d expect.

I even like Sandler’s more serious films. I loved Funny People. Apparently, that makes me a minority. (I hope that makes me eligible for affirmative action.  I could use some breaks.) I have only met three other people who liked that movie. Literally. I don’t get it. It wasn’t funny like The Forty Year Old Virgin but it wasn’t supposed to be. It had heart. It was about learning to be happy with yourself. Whatever.

Regardless, unlike most people I do not have an issue with Funny People. I do, however, have an issue with another one of Adam Sandler’s serious films. Click. In my mind, Click is the least realistic of all Adam Sandler movies.

I don’t mean realistic in the sense that no remote control can manipulate time.  I mean in terms of character believability.

I can imagine a hockey player being an amazing golfer and joining the PGA tour to make money to buy his grandma’s house. I can see a twenty something year old having to go back to elementary school in order to become the heir to his father’s fortune. I can even see a waterboy becoming the star middle lineback for some backcountry college and inexplicably leading that school to the national championship game despite losing two games to open the year. However, I cannot see anyone wanting a device which allows you to fast forward through time. That device would literally be the least worthwhile thing ever created. Ever.

Who want’s to speed up time? I have plenty of time-related gripes, but they are all of the I-wish-I-could-slow-it-down-variety. Sure, there are occasions where I think to myself, “I’m bored.” Or, “I’m a little hungry  and bored.” Or even, “I wish Christopher Walken could give me a remote control to speed up time.” However those thoughts are fleeting.  I spend much more time thinking about how awesome that one afternoon was two years ago. Or how much fun that night last December was. If you asked anyone if they would rather have a device to fast forward time or rewind it, everyone would answer rewind.

Of course, I don’t blame the creators of Click for ignoring this obvious flaw in their film. They couldn’t make a movie about a device which allows someone to go back in time. There would be no conflict or character development. If Adam Sandler were to have gotten control of a time reversal remote, the movie would have stunk. It would have been about a guy with a hot wife and and awesome life who met a weird scientist and got a cool gizmo which made his life even awesome-er. I recognize the problems with that.

So, for any scientists out there, I have a request. Please build me this device. I promise I would only use it for good, not evil. Seriously. I would just use it to relive days where cool things happened to me. Like the first time I went to Disney World or found a twenty dollar bill in the pocket of a jacket I hadn’t worn in a year. Here are my design/specification suggestions:

1. The device should be handheld.

In the movie, Sandler’s device was the size of a television remote. I’m realistic. I’m not stupid. I get it. A real time machine device would have to be at least, two or three times as big. I’d be willing to let the device be as large as a small microwave or toaster oven. Any bigger would be a deal breaker.

2. All ventures into the past last 8 hours.

This one’s pretty obvious. You can’t spend too long in the past or the past becomes the present. (Don’t think about that for too long, your brain will hurt.) Plus, keeping the trips short will make them more fun and special. Why did I specifically choose eight? I don’t know. I like round numbers. Ten seemed too long.

2. Resolve the whole “What if the present version of me runs into the past version of me?” problem.

I have seen Back to the Future enough to realize that bad things happen when you run into younger versions of yourself or family members. I request that you scientists deal with this issue before hand. I suggest making it so the present version of me replaces the past version of me. For instance, if I wanted to relieve the game winning three run home run I hit against Waukegan in a baseball game 7 years ago, I would dial up the date and time in my microwave and be sent back in time. The 2010 version of myself would be walking around hitting home runs and being a general bad ass while the 2003 version of me would be sent to some sort of time-space vacuum waiting room. Maybe there could be ESPN magazine subscriptions or maybe some VHS tapes or DVDs. You know, so 2003 me doesn’t get bored. Then, after eight hours I am sent back to the present and 2003 Peter is returned to 2003. Also, he has no memory of this weird waiting room.

3. Only I get to use this machine.

I don’t trust others. What if one of them breaks the microwave? My idea, my rules.

4. Most important, have fun!

I know this doesn’t really jive with the others, but I’m tired and needed a way to finish this piece.


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