Yes Man (2008)
Reviewed on 2010 January 27
Another slap-sticky Jim Carrey comedy, but this one is more thoughtful (in its own way) and entertaining than a lot of comedies out there, with a few twists thrown in to balance a lot of the predictable things.
Carl Allen (Carrey) doesn’t seem to mind life passing him by. He’s an employee at a bank, at a professional and personal standstill since his wife left him and apparently very numb. He prefers to retreat to the couch with a stack of DVDs instead of doing anything. He even declines invitations to parties and outings with friends, but we really see the depth of his isolation when it extends to bypassing nerdy bashes thrown by his overgrown puppy of a boss, Norman (Rhys Darby). When your couch-surfing can hamper your career, you need an intervention, and a friend provides one that changes his life. He coaxes him to attend a seminar taught by a self-styled guru of yes (a hilarious performance by Terence Stamp). He chides Carl into saying yes to everything for a year, and Carl jumps in with both feet.
Screwy? Yes — the rock band Carl finally agrees to see is hilarious while one bit with a neighbor pushed my gag reflex — but it’s also kind of sweet in a lot of places. It’s also based on the real-life yes man Danny Wallace, a Scot who decided to just “yes” his way through life for year and now has a $48,000 prize, a novel on Amazon.com, and no doubt many cocktail parties to show for it. It made me laugh out loud a few times, and that’s a decent job for a movie on a dark January night.
Three chocolate morsels.