In a nod to Jim Carrey's "Bruce Almighty" in which a regular Schmoe becomes almost omnipotent Adam Sandler stars as a loser who is offered a "universal remote" control device, which gives him power over time and space among other things.
The remote is given to him by the otherworldly Morty (Christopher Walken), who is tinkering in the bowels of a Bed, Bath & Beyond store. Actually, the plot is taken from the "Twilight Zone" episode, "A Kind Of Stopwatch," which originally aired on Oct. 18, 1963, but this contraption also allows Michael Newman (Sandler) to mute, pause, review his past and (especially) fast-forward things around him.
It's that latter feature, though, that causes the most havoc in his life, because as soon as he zips through one crisis (getting a cold, arguing with his wife, wishing for a promotion, having sex, etc.) after another, the machine programs itself, automatically forwarding through similar situations, and causing his existence to pass all too quickly before his eyes.
While he strives to climb the company ladder at his architect firm, he begins to use the thing to avoid the months and years of hard work it would take for him to succeed; soon, however, as in most films of this fantasy ilk, the bad side is revealed. While his brain is fast-forwarding through bits of unpleasantness, his body remains - with little or no reaction to the things actually going on around him in his family's reality.
Before he realizes it, his wife, Donna (Kate Beckinsale), is drifting away from him, and the relationship with his kids, Ben and Samantha (Joseph Castanon and Tatum McCann) is going to pot. Donna eventually divorces Michael and marries swim instructor, Bill (Sean Astin, "Lord of the Rings," "50 First Dates"), while the kids grow up estranged from their father. He's a big man at his company, sure, but no amount of success on the job can compensate for failure in the home.
The lesson here is to spend as much quality time with your loved ones ("Family comes first") and there are no quick fixes in life. A bit maudlin and sappy, at times (although there are some pretty funny moments), plus about 10 minutes too long for my taste; but nice supporting work from Walken (who steals the picture), Henry Winkler and Julie Kavner (as Michael's meshugana parents), as well as David Hasselhoff, as his weirded-out boss, make this one of Sandler's better vehicles.
Not his best - that was "The Wedding Singer" (so far) - but good enough to enjoy.