New DVD: Yes Man (12)By Anna Roberts
April 16, 2009
The man who likes to say ‘Yes!’
What would you do if you were obliged to say yes to everything? Leave your job? Dump your partner? Flee the country?
This is the situation facing Carl (Jim Carrey) in Yes Man. After years of being down in the dumps after his girlfriend left him, he is urged along to a ‘Yes’ seminar.
There he is encouraged – told – to answer yes to everything and not let any opportunity – however unwanted or bizarre – slip through his fingers.
By answering yes to a tramp’s request for a lift, he ends up out of petrol, money and without a mobile phone in a dodgy part of Los Angeles.
While trudging to a garage he meets sexy and free-spirited motorcyclist Allison (Zooey Deschanel). When she invites him for a spin what can he say but yes?
As a loans administrator for a bank Carl is more used to saying no to odd and unfeasible requests. Of course now he has to say yes – and it works out pretty well, landing him a top promotion.
Learning Korean? Yes. Attending a Harry Potter-themed party? Yes. Organising a wedding shower? Yes.
In answering yes to an invitation to a curious gig Carl once again meets Allison and – owing to his affirmative answer – attends her exercise class.
Desperate to embrace his new-found zeal for life – and without even being dictated to by his weird seminar – Carl invites Allison on holiday where they have a fantastically spontaneous time.
But it his on his way back that Carl – because of his yes mantra – is mistaken for a terrorist and the truth comes out to Allison: he only met her because he was obliged to.
Carl is forced to realise – although there is beauty in yes – it is sometimes right to say no. But is it too late to win back Allison?
Carrey made his name in films such as Dumber and Dumber, The Mask and Liar Liar where he put his rubbery-faced ‘charm’ to great use.
In The Truman Show he proved he was more than just a – well not exactly pretty but certainly expressive – face. He was preferable for it.
Yes Man – based on a book by Brit Danny Wallace – is an amalgamation of Carrey’s genuine talents and love of overacting.
While it is good fun – Deschanel is an amiable love interest – there is an underlying feeling that if Carrey had played Carl in a more subtle way the film could have gone from being run-of-the-mill comedy to something special.
As it is Yes Man is good and worth watching but it’s never going to set the world alight.