Jan 2009 05

Jim Carrey’s latest isn’t a wholly original piece of work, but it is funny, with a joke never really falling flat for this viewer.
Carrey plays a Carl, loan approver at bank and has no sign of upward mobility in his job, Carl avoids his friends, and says ‘no’ to just about everything. Enter a chance occurrence with a friend from his past who he finds is living life to its fullest. How you might ask, by simply saying yes to anything and everything. Carrey decides to attend the friends recommended seminar and we are introduced to the mastermind of the yes man program. He gets after Carrey a bit and gets him to agree to give the program a try. Carrey is quickly given a crash course in the program when a homeless man outside the convention center begins asking him for a ludicrous list of requests. Though, this little mis-adventure also happens to introduce him to Zooey Dechanel’s character, Allison, which Carrey views as a bit of good karma for saying yes and helping out people. Carrey decides to jump headfirst into the program after this and begins his new life as a yes man.
The film’s premise seems similar to Carrey’s previous Liar, Liar, but it does a decent job of still making itself its own, and is a lot less reliant on physical humor then that previous picture. Peyton Reed who also directed the solid The Break Up and Down with Love, two solid comedies, and he continues with his success here. He blends the physical and dialogue humor well and the film has a surprisingly good amount of one liners to boot. The film also doesn’t feel that forced with the comedy conventional plot turns and even steers clear of one or two along the way. And while some things happen a bit too easy on occasion, the fact that the movie is constantly entertaining makes it forgivable.
The actors in the film also are pretty solid all around, with a few standouts among the crowd. Zooey Deschanel is absolutely adorable and one of the best girl friends in a movie I have seen in a while. Her charm and humor is just fantastic and throw in the musical number and I am sold, how can you not want her. Terrance Stamp is also very funny in his brief scenes and is some how both intimidating and quite funny all at once. Jim Carrey also delivers one of his most subdued roles, well for the most part, when it comes to a comedy of this type, and is a bit refreshing to see him just be funny and not feel like he has to be obnoxious, loud, or over the top to do so. The best stuff though comes from Rhys Darby as Norm, which is a slight variation on his Flight of the Conchords character, but just as funny, sad, and endearing. He had me rolling every time he was on the screen and made me very happy that we get to see him back in his band managing role in the not to distant future.
In the end, Yes Man, is a solid comedy that never really drops a joke, but never really breaks any new ground either. The actors all do a fine job, and Darby and Deschanel are constantly sweet and funny throughout. If Carrey is tiring you out, I would like to think this could get you back in his side a bit, but that is for you to judge. For a nice comedy that will entertain and do what its supposed to, make one laugh, I think you will be just happy with Yes Man; though, that’s not to say there aren’t some more worthy movies worth your time in theaters right now, but if you aren’t in the mood for that, you shouldn’t be disappointed with this.


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