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“Yes Man” is a pleasant diversion.

Movie Review: Yes Man

Written by Hombre Divertido

Yes, the formula is obvious and reminiscent of Liar Liar, but this film is not as predictable, and succeeds by simply being more genuine.

Jim Carrey plays Carl Allen, a man who retreated into self-imposed seclusion after suffering through a divorce, routinely says no to any offer that might lead him from his dreary existence.

Carl is curious enough about the life of old friend Nick (John Michael Higgins channeling a young David Leisure) to attend a seminar run by a miscast Terrence Stamp, who motivates Carl into agreeing to say yes to everything, and thus our one-dimensional plot is born.

Generally the situations created by the premise work simply because Carrey keeps his normally outrageous antics in check and plays this character with a sincerity that works for the most part. The occasional return to Carrey’s outrageousness of old, such as the often-seen trailers with him hyped-up on Red Bull or with a face wrapped in scotch tape, actually seem forced and out of place in a film that is generally more low key than what one might expect.

Unfortunately the story takes some turns that just don’t work for anyone that brought their brain into the theater with them. Obviously all the “yesing” can’t reap only success and Carl and his newfound love, Allison (Zoey Deschanel in an understated but endearing performance), can’t just end-up together without overcoming some type of roadblock, but said obstacle is poorly constructed, and it is at this point in the film where the writers clearly ran out of ideas. The turn of events leads to an abrupt and disappointing ending.

It is the performances of the cast and the relatable characters created that makes this 104-minute outing worth your money. The script by Nick Stoller, based on Danny Wallace’s autobiographical book, runs out of steam before it gets to where it should have gone and leaves the audience stranded, if not lost. Considering the simplicity of the premise and the success of the book on which it was based, the writing should have come easier and been better. The unnecessary antics and geriatric sexual encounters are sophomoric and insulting to the audience, and do nothing but cheapen a film that actually has some class.

Recommendation: Jim Carrey may be a bit weathered to play such parts, or the antics may just be tired, but he is still a capable character actor who can be successful when given the right vehicle. This may not quite be it, but there are enough pleasant moments and solid performances to make this worth seeing.

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Formerly known as The Masked Movie Snobs, the gang has unmasked, reformed as Cinema Sentries, and added to their ranks as they continue to deliver quality movie and entertainment coverage on the Internet.

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