Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Yes Man Review

Although Jim Carrey’s new comedy, Yes Man, seems like a cookie cutter redux of his 1997 hit Liar Liar, there is more personality than expected in this formulaic, but enjoyable movie. The film, directed by Peyton Reed (The Break-Up, Bring It On) features Carrey as Carl Allen; a divorced, pessimistic bank associate who wants nothing to do with anyone or anything. His best friend Peter, played wonderfully by Bradley Cooper (Midnight Meat Train, Wedding Crasher), is getting married and wants nothing more than Carl to be a part of the celebration. Carl does everything in his power to not be a part of it. That is, until an old acquaintance introduces Carl to a “Yes!” seminar. Carl decides to go and after some enticing he follows the plan. It’s simple; say yes to everything, no matter what. This proves to be interesting in a certain sexual scene involving a much, much older woman. Carl’s similar answers don’t always bring him bad luck though. On the contrary, everything pretty much turns out well for him when he starts trying new things. He finds a new girl, Allison, played by Zooey Deschanel (The Happening), new opportunities at his job, and rekindled friendships.

Starting off fairly slowly, but picking up the pace as it goes along, the film proves to be persistently funny. As expected, the funniest parts of the film come when Carl, against every power in his mind and body must say yes. The best supporting role turns out to be Carl’s eccentric coworker, Norman, played by Rhys Darby of the outstanding TV show, Flight of the Conchords. He is eager that Carl’s optimism means he will have to accept every invite that he extends, including a hilariously awful Harry Potter themed party. Although Carrey and Deschanel don’t have the best chemistry I’ve seen, they certainly have enough to keep the film moving. Their relationship is always engaging to watch as we see what can happen when someone says yes to everything. The film is a pleasant escape and will keep you laughing but after the slew of excellent comedies this year this one doesn’t quite live up to what we have already seen. Also, there is a pretty amusing special scene a couple minutes after the credits roll, so don't miss it.

6 out of 10

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