Adam Sandler may not actually play the Man Upstairs in this new comedy from the writers of Bruce Almighty, but he comes awful close. As Michael Newman, a harried husband and father of two struggling to balance his personal and professional lives, Sandler stumbles upon a universal remote courtesy of a loopy and dance-happy Bed Bath & Beyond employee named Morty (Christopher Walken) that can be applied to reality. His naggy wife Donna (Kate Beckinsale) and her even yappier best friend? Fast-forwarded during a fight and muted, respectively. His dorky and annoying boss Ammer (David Hasselhoff)? Paused and slapped around.
''It's a great analogy, because he starts using the fast-forward button to get through all the things he doesn't want to do, like traffic and foreplay. But because the remote remembers his [choices], he eventually learns that life is what happens when you're in traffic,'' says director and longtime Sandler pal Frank Coraci (The Waterboy, The Wedding Singer). ''The movie's probably got more laughs than all the other movies we've done, but also much more heart because we've all grown up a bit.'' Fellow Sandler alum (50 First Dates) Sean Astin, who plays a swimming instructor, learned a lesson of his own while sitting in the makeup chair. ''The movie covers a lot of years, so they hired Rick Baker (Men in Black, Planet of the Apes) to age us all.... I got a preview of what I'm going to look like at 65,'' says Astin. ''Apparently, I look a lot like Jack Lemmon.''