Review: Yes Man (2008)

Director: Peyton Reed | 104 minutes | comedy | Actors: Jim Carrey, Zooey Deschanel, Sasha Alexander, Cecelia Antoinette, Landon Ashworth, Vivian Bang, Rocky Carroll, Bradley Cooper, John Cothran Jr., Rhys Darby, Alfred De Contreras, Andrew Ferguson, Fionnula Flanagan, Maile Flanagan, Dax Garner, Spencer Garr

The life of Carl Allen (Jim Carrey) is a big ‘no’: he has been doing the same job at a bank for five years and the chance of promotion is virtually nil, his ex-wife Stephanie (Molly Sims) is in a relationship with someone else, he does not accept invitations from his friends Peter (Bradley Cooper) and Rooney (Danny Masterson) and leaves their calls unanswered and the invitations from his colleague Norman (Rhys Darby) for the themed parties he gives, he declines before they has opened his mouth. Everyone is waiting for Carl to take a more positive attitude, but he is trapped in his own lethargy.

By a friend, whom he has not seen for a long time and who seems to have become a completely different person, he is persuaded to break this negative spiral by attending a meeting of “Yes Man”. Terrence Bundley (Terence Stamp), the leader of this movement, manages to persuade Carl in front of a stirring room to say “yes” everywhere and to make a binding contract with himself about this. And it works. Carl meets Allison (Zooey Deschanel), gets promoted to promotion, learns to play guitar, fly, Korean and is loved by everyone. But unsurprisingly, there is also a downside to always saying “yes”, especially when it concerns things you would rather respond with “no”.

“Yes Man” is an entertaining film, but the problem is that the makers try to please two completely different types of audiences, and that is a split that is doomed to fail. Jim Carrey can act, very well even as he shows again now. His Carl is not ridiculous but tragic and, in addition to irritation, above all arouses pity. His inner struggle to give up his negative attitude to life under the pressure of a room full of “Yes” people is moving. At least, this is what the audience will find that has come to find him interesting as an actor after his surprisingly serious role in “The Truman Show” (1998). But the name “Jim Carrey” also attracts an audience that comes for his flat jokes and to keep the cash registers ringing, he wraps masking tape around his head, falls flat on his sniffle and makes funny faces for no purpose. The result is a film that is too flat for part of the audience and for another part unsatisfactory and perhaps even boring.

This discord also takes its revenge in the screenplay and the acting. The events following Carl’s decision to say “yes” everywhere are not annoying, but very predictable, and again, two types of audiences have to be served, creating a bizarre mix of banalities and sensibilities. In addition, so much time and attention is required for the almost perfunctory series of incidents that should lead to a better insight into himself and the world around him, that there is no room for deepening the characters and the actors cannot do more than inside. color the lines. The result of all this is a nothing more than entertaining film and that only if you do not have too high expectations.

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