Yes Man (7/10)

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Could it be? A light, bubbly, frothy comedy from Jim Carrey that’s actually funny, and showcases some of the funniest Jim Carrey moments in recent memory? (Not counting The Number 23, of course.) Yes, its premise is flawed. And yes, the storyline is predictable and hardly anything more than exactly what you’d expect from the trailers, but sometimes you need to go to a comedy to just laugh your ass off, and thanks to Carrey and a cast of earnest supporting performances, “Yes Man” is just that comedy.
Carrey is Carl Allen, a dead end office drone with an annoying boss (Rhys Darby turning a derivative character into comedy gold as a bumblingly obtuse boss), spending his days constantly coming up with excuses not to hang out with his friends, lying to them over the phone as he’s in line at the video store, picking out his night and ditching them because hey, that action movie isn’t gonna watch itself. One day during work he meets his old friend Nick (a delightfully insane John Michael Higgins), who tells him he owes all his happiness to a program whose pamphlet seems to just seems to have the word “yes” written on it a few dozen times. Carl dutifully attends the ceremony, hosted by Terrence Bundley, (Terrence Stamp oozing style and creepily confident religious leader charisma) and, caught up in the hype, resolves to say “yes” to everything from then on out.

If you’ve seen the trailers, you’ve seen what happens next. Carl does everything from bungee-jumping to letting his creepy next door neighbor (an elderly lady) go down on him (a disturbing and entirely unnecessary vignette, but still funny) in his attempts to “Be a yes man!” Not all of them are funny or clever, and the longer the movie goes the more it feels like the writers keep on reaching further down towards the bottom of the barrel, steadily running out of good “yes” ideas and veering closer and closer to cliched boring nonsense. Along the way he meets Allison, a free spirit and played by the freest of them all Zooey Deschanel. When Carrey first meets Deschanel onscreen their two different styles of quirky comedy spark the movie alive and keep it going for its duration – Deschanel plays a woman who pretty much already has her life figured out and must teach this young boy who can’t find a balance between “yes” and “no” what the right one to say is. Their combined strengths far outweigh the script’s weaknesses.

And Jim Carrey? As he’s gotten older, he’s become involved in increasingly tamer projects (“Fun with Dick and Jane”, as well as “Horton Hears a Who”, cemented the idea that Carrey’s raunchy funny bone was probably lost somewhere back in the 90’s). Though “Yes Man” is still fairly tame by comparison to classics like “The Mask”, “Dumb & Dumber”, “The Cable Guy,” and “Liar Liar” (and yes, often “Yes Man” feels like the sequel to “Liar Liar”), it still shows Carrey as a more believable real world person than he was in any of those. The funny moments, for the most part, feel fresh and honest, and Carrey, when he tries, can be a pretty good funny straight man. Most likely “Yes Man” will make you laugh plenty of times, and like I said, sometimes it’s just good to see funny people doing funny things. Maybe that’s all it should have to be.

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One Response to “Yes Man (7/10)”

  1. i really like this movie( the trailer didn’t do it justice).

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