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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Yes Man

Rated: PG-13 for crude sexual humor, language and brief nudity.
Runtime: 2 hrs 2 mins
Genre: Comedies
Theatrical Release:2009
Box Office: $97,632,413
Reviews :
In the spectrum of Jim Carrey vehicles, “Yes Man” hews closest structurally to “Liar Liar,” offering the rubber-faced comic actor plenty of opportunities to riff -- but with far too few moments that approach the explosive hilarity of that earlier movie.Genial but slim, pic is certainly a light-hearted alternative to weighty year-end awards bait, but the conceit isn’t realized fully enough to ensure the affirmative response Warner Bros. would doubtless like to hear. As is, it’s more in the realm of a definite “maybe.”Carrey is introduced as Carl Allen, a sad-sack bank-loan officer who still hasn’t recovered emotionally from his divorce three years before. Although his pals Peter (Bradley Cooper) and Rooney (Danny Masterson) try to nudge him out of his shell, Carl’s answer to virtually every overture that involves anything but staying home and renting DVDs is an evasive “no.”


A chance encounter with an old acquaintance inspires him to attend a self-help seminar, where a steely-eyed guru (Terence Stamp) preaches the power of saying “yes” to every opportunity -- forging a covenant with the shell-shocked Carl to adhere to this simple code.

To his surprise, the “just say yes” strategy yields welcome results -- and equally significant, failing to do so invites disaster. Carl’s grudging agreement to assist a homeless guy, for example, inadvertently brings about his introduction to Allison (Zooey Deschanel), a free spirit to whom he’s instantly drawn (in a faint echo of “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”) -- and thanks to his newfound attitude, with whom he’s very much in tune.

Similarly, unquestioningly approving bank loans to eccentric characters -- the timing of which could probably be better, given the present mortgage meltdown -- benefits Carl in unexpected ways, if not quite triggering the logical “pay it forward” scenario that would help lend ballast to this slender premise.

Instead, director Peyton Reed (“The Break-Up”) -- working from an adaptation of Danny Wallace’s book by Nicholas Stoller, Jarrad Paul and Andrew Mogel -- lets the movie lapse into an uneven, episodic mode. That format yields the occasional juicy bits (Carl thwarting a suicide attempt; an interlude with his aged neighbor, played by Fionnula Flanagan), but not enough of them to sustain the level of manic energy Carrey can unleash at his best. Almost too conveniently, the propositions thrown Carl’s way also generally avoid anything that’s so uncomfortable as to risk brushing up against the limitations of a PG-13 rating.

In terms of concocting laughs, Carrey receives minimal help other than from Rhys Darby (HBO’s “Flight of the Conchords”) as his nerdy boss, who has a fondness for idiotic nicknames and throws movie-themed parties seemingly catering to fringes of the Comic-Con crowd. (Those scenes amusingly if somewhat conspicuously showcase Warner Bros. properties, including the “Harry Potter” franchise -- also from “Yes Man” producer David Heyman -- and “300.”)

From a technical standpoint, the movie makes unusually good use of Los Angeles landmarks as a backdrop for Carl and Allison’s budding romance, from the Hollywood Bowl to the Griffith Observatory. Mark Oliver Everett of the band Eels collaborated on the score and contributes several songs.

Mercifully, “Yes Man” finally arrives at a place that lets a bit of air out of the pervasive self-help bubble. It’s only too bad that the movie isn’t slightly more adept at helping itself.

Jim Carrey returns to hilarious form with this romantic comedy in the same vein as the Carrey classic LIAR LIAR. After a few stints in more serious features like ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS... Jim Carrey returns to hilarious form with this romantic comedy in the same vein as the Carrey classic LIAR LIAR. After a few stints in more serious features like ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND and THE NUMBER 23, Carrey seems right at home playing Carl, a divorcé who starts out the film depressed and withdrawn, scared of taking a risk. Pressured by his best friend, Peter (Bradley Cooper), to get his act together or be stuck with a lonely life, Carl attends a New Age self-help seminar intended to change "no men" like Carl into "yes men" willing to meet life's challenges with gusto. Carl is reluctant at first, but finds the seminar to be ultimately life-changing when he's coerced into giving the "say yes" attitude a try. As the first opportunity to say yes presents itself, Carl hesitantly utters the three-letter word, setting the stage for a domino effect of good rewards, and giving Carrey a platform to show off his comic chops. But over time Carl realizes that saying yes to everything indiscriminately can reap results as complicated and messy as his life had become when saying "no" was his norm. The always-quirky Zooey Deschanel adds her signature charm as Carl's love interest, Allison. An unlikely match at first glance, the pair actually develop great chemistry as the story progresses, the actors playing off each other's different styles of humor. Rhys Darby also shines as Carl's loveable but clueless boss, and THAT 70s SHOW's Danny Masterson appears as another one of Carl's friends. While YES MAN marks no major departure from Carrey's previous work, the sweet crowd pleaser manages to showcase two sides of its leading man

Starring: Jim Carrey, Zooey Deschanel, Bradley Cooper, Rhys Darby, John Michael Higgins, Danny Masterson, Terence Stamp, Sasha Alexander, Rocky Carroll, Anna Khaja, Brent Briscoe, Patrick Labyorteaux, Luis Guzman, Molly Sims, Fionnula Flanagan
Director: Peyton Reed

Screenwriter: Nicholas Stoller, Jarrad Paul, Andrew Mogel

Producer: Richard D. Zanuck, David Heyman

Studio: Warner Bros.



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