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chael Newman is an architect who is consistently bullied by his overbearing boss, John Ammer, and often chooses work over his wife Donna and his two children, Ben and Samantha. One day, Michael visits the retail store Bed Bath & Beyond to buy a universal remote control. He stumbles around the various departments before falling asleep. Upon waking, he accepts a free remote control from a man named Morty, who warns him that it can never be returned. Michael learns that the remote can be used to control reality much like a television. He uses it to his advantage at work, to cause light-hearted mischief, and to fast-forward past illnesses. Morty tells Michael that during these times, his body is on "auto-pilot", going through his motions of everyday life while his mind skips ahead. Thinking that Ammer has promoted him to a partnership, Michael buys bicycles for his children and a purse for Donna. However, Ammer tells him that he ha
s not yet been promoted and thus cannot afford the gifts and has to return them. Angry that he upset his family, Michael uses the remote to skip ahead to his promotion, thus missing a year of his life. During this time, he and Donna have entered marriage counseling, his children have matured, and the family dog has died. The remote, having learned his preferences, starts time-skipping automatically. Each time Michael attempts to discard or destroy the remote, it reappears, and Morty refuses to take it back. At work, Ammer tells Michael he plans on retiring, which would make Michael the new head of the International Division and that in time, Michael could be promoted to CEO. This causes the remote to instantly fast-forward ten years into the future, where Michael is wealthy, but morbidly obese. He returns home to discover that Ben and Samantha have both become moody teenagers, and that Donna has divorced him and remarried to a man named Bill. When he argues with them, the new family
dog jumps on Michael and knocks him into a coma. The remote time-skips six years to when Michael wakes, no longer obese as a result of having undergone liposuction to save his life as a part of his cancer treatment and subsequent heart attack. A full-grown Ben is now a partner at the firm. Michael learns that his father, Ted, has died of old age. Morty reappears as Michael mourns him. Michael uses the remote to see when he last saw his father, when Michael rebuffed his father's offer to take him and Ben out to dinner. At Ted's grave, Morty appears and reveals to Michael that he is the Angel of Death. Overcome with guilt and shame, Michael asks to go to a "good place", whereupon the remote fast-forwards him several more years in the future to Ben's wedding. He overhears Samantha refer to Bill as Dad, triggering a second heart attack. He wakes in the hospital that night to find his family there, including Ben, who reveals he skipped his honeymoon to help fix iss
ues with the firm, before a nurse makes Ben and Samantha leave. Fearing Ben will make the same mistakes he did, Michael gathers the last of his strength to follow them out of the hospital but collapses and subsequently dies, but not before telling Ben to put his wife before work, and assures his family that he still loves them. Michael reawakens in Bed Bath & Beyond and assumes that he was dreaming. He embraces his family and promises to spend more time with them. He finds the remote on the counter along with a note from Morty, who reveals he has given him a second chance because "Good guys need a brea