Screen Gems Movie Reviews
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Yes Man December 19, 2008
Yes Man
Studio: Warner Bros.
Rating: PG-13 for crude sexual humor, language and brief nudity.

Would you challenge yourself to say yes to everything? That's the premise of the Jim Carrey comedy "Yes Man."

Carl Allen (Carrey) is broken. He's withdrawn from life after being shattered by a lost love three years earlier. He ignores his family, his friends and just endures a dead-end job as a loan officer.

After years of saying no thanks and being miserable an old acquaintance tells Carl about a life-changing seminar. Following a horrible nightmare, Carl decides to check it out.

When motivational guru Terrence Bundley (Terence Stamp) convinces Carl of the error of his ways he decides to agree with everything.

Carl's first attempts at saying yes don't go very well. A homeless man takes advantage of Carl's new agreeable nature, draining his cell phone's battery, running his car out of gas and stranding him at night in the middle of nowhere. But those events lead to a meeting with a very interesting young woman named Allison (Zooey Deschanel). The romantic sparks fly and Carl realizes he can't break his "yes" covenant or else his newfound happiness will come crashing to a halt.

I admit that "Yes Man" has some original moments and I laughed several times. But this movie is almost as much of a miss as a hit.

Carl saying yes to everything generally works out well but there are a few instances in which he gets into trouble. And of course, the philosophy eventually gets in the way of his relationship with Allison.

There is no doubt Carrey is a funny guy. He's been tremendously successful in comedies since his debut in "Ace Ventura: Pet Detective." But this really is a "one-joke" story. The characters, with the notable exception of Stamp, are a collection of stereotypes that only serve to put Carl in a series of outrageous situations.

Additionally, there just aren't many sparks between Carl and Allison. I like both of the actors and their characters but they just didn't seem like a couple. I can deal with their real-life 18-year age difference but it looks a lot bigger onscreen. Deschanel is talented and beautiful but her Allison isn't a great match with Carl.

On my rating scale, "Yes Man" earns a Double.

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