Yes Man (2008) – A review by Film Nerd

Director: Peyton Reed

Cast: Jim Carrey, Zooey Deschanel, Bradley Cooper, Rhys Darby, Sasha Alexander, Rocky Carroll, Terence Stamp

Synopsis: Carl Allen (Carrey) never recovered from a broken romance and lives a life of apathy, and as a result seclusion, given that he never accepts any invitations from his friends.   After bitterly disappointing his best friend (Cooper), he attends a seminar on saying yes, conducted by an out of control inspirational speaker (Stamp).   Carl then starts saying yes to everything, finding he only has bad luck when he refuses an offer.   Of course, this leads to many outlandish events in his life.

A review by Film Nerd.

Jim Carrey has a life intervention by( his son/old colleague) giving him absolutely no option but to (tell the truth/say yes to everything) until (the end of the day/forever…?).   Yes, in many ways this film is a repackaged Liar Liar, with the most significant difference being the fact Carrey has clearly aged.   If you liked Liar Liar, there is plenty of entertainment in this film, even if there is an occasional sense of repetition.   Suffice it to say though, if Liar Liar was not your thing, there is little fresh here to keep you in front of the screen

This film is based on a book by Danny Wallace, who did take up the challenge of saying yes to every offer put in front of him.   It is a loose adaptation though, given the opportunity for comedy that this scenario presents.   Overall, I would say this is to the benefit of the film, as any good comedy is about escapism.   What does let it down though is that the sheer level to which the saying yes challenge was accepted does feel at times unrealistic, particularly when ordered by love interest Deschanel to get away.    How could this not be to the deficit of our lead character??   So while there are many good laughs here, the film is a bit uneven.

A major improvement of this film over its predecessor is the fantastic supporting characters.   Rhys Darby’s Norm is a special one, a little nerdy bundle of energy who throws Harry Potter and 300 parties.   Maybe I like him given I see some of myself in the character, throwing an annual James Bond party myself.   But despite his ineptness as a boss, he is just a really likeable guy.   Bradley Cooper I would have loved to have seen on-screen more, having been a fan since Alias, but this was before The Hangover and his name at this time was not enough to get bums on seats.   Stamp gets just the right amount of screen time though, being a great impact player for his scenes.   The final cast member worth mention is a personal favourite actress of mine, Zooey Deschanel.   She plays cute as a button yet slightly odd characters with great skill, and the film feels like it steps up a notch when she is involved.

So how to rate this one??   It is a tough call, but I will be putting it in the mid-range.   While watching, I found if quite enjoyable, and had many chuckles and even a belly laugh or two.   The criticisms already listed come more from reflection getting ready to write this review.   But to decide to rent it or not, it is simple.   If you want more of Liar Liar, jump on in and see this one.

3 stars (out of a possible 5)

Yes Man on IMDB

Yes Man on Rotten Tomatoes

Trailer [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRv4CoXQoAQ]

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