Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

I kind of hope this signifies the end of Jim Carrey’s ‘acting’ career, though we can’t really argue with the man on ‘The Truman Show’ and that damn ‘Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind’, but gosh darn we like Jim Carrey just acting stupid as opposed to trying to really act. Here in his latest movie Mr. Carrey kinds of returns to just acting stupid by stumbling over his feet, twisting up his face in funny ways and being an overall buffoon in the completely harmless, reasonably entertaining, mildly amusing Romantic Comedy ‘Yes Man’.

Carrey plays the role of bank loan officer Carl Allen, a man who has pretty much checked out of life. When his friends Peter (Bradley Cooper) and Rooney (Danny Masterson) try to reach him, he goes out his way to avoid them because all they want to do is drag him out of house for fun and merriment. Carl’s avoidance for human contact began when his wife Stephanie (Molly Sims) left his ass some years ago, because basically Carl just isn’t a hell of a lot of fun to be around. Now unless his buddies accidentally bump into Carl at the video store or something, they’ll never see the dude. Of course we would imagine that if Carl really wanted to avoid human contact and bumping into his much reviled friends on the outside he’d simply get himself a Netflix account, but then that wouldn’t have been very self serving to our Blatantly Telegraphed Plot Device.

You see Carl is a ‘NO’ man as he would learn when he ran into his old friend Nick (John Michael Higgins) while having lunch outside his bank. Again we would think that if Carl really hated people as much as we think he does, he would eat lunch at his desk instead of somewhere with as much foot traffic as the outside of a bank, but we’re beating a dead horse here. Nick advises Carl to attend a ‘YES’ meeting and informs him that saying ‘YES’ will change his life.

So Carl goes to the meeting which is lorded over by General Zod who pumps up the crowd and convinces Carl that ‘YES’ is the only way to go. No matter what you are asked, say ‘YES’ and great things will happen to you, and if you do say no, Karma will not be kind to you.

So Carl commits to ‘YES’, which leads him to meeting a pretty girl named Allison (Zooey Deschanel), reconnecting with his friends, getting a hummer from an old lady, getting him recognized for excellence at his job and just overall changing the whole outlook of everything having anything to do with his life. ‘YES’ apparently is the way to go my friends, even though I'm thinking for a woman in the program ‘YES’ can only lead to STD’s and unwanted pregnancies. But wait, we did mention that this is a Romantic Comedy correct? So boy has girl but somehow boy must lose girl with ‘YES’ being the reason that boy has lost girl and then the boy must find someway to make the girl see that ‘YES’ might have been just a silly plot device to begin with, but then convince her that with them it’s much more than a silly plot device… it’s like love for real.

There’s really not a lot to criticize about ‘Yes Man’ as it is a perfectly palatable, relatively harmless, completely painless way to get some halfway decent entertainment value into your life. I would almost say that this is a good family film but Carrey, in addition to getting a BJ from a seventy five year old woman also says the word ‘fuck’ in this movie, so I don’t know about all of that. Personally, considering that oral sex and the word ‘fuck’ are simple facts of life, Jim Carrey just may be the perfect celebrity conduit to introduce your children to these things.

Speaking of Mr. Carrey, he’s dusted off his best Cary Grant for this role in this and is more than funny and charming enough in it, Zooey Deschanel is a very lovely girl with a winsome air about her that makes even more adorable than she already is and whose big blue eyes seem far to large for her face, though if you twist my arm and force me to choose, I’d think I’d have to pick her sister. The rest of the cast is quite admirable in service of Mr. Carrey’s madcap hi-jinx which also includes and inspired cameo from Luis Guzman.

Truly there is absolutely nothing wrong with ‘Yes Man’ as it is funny where it’s supposed to be funny, sweet where it’s supposed to sweet and romantic in all the right spots. It’s also painfully predictable, derivative and somewhat trivial, but I think we knew this was going to be the case going in. Here’s to Mr. Carrey getting even more stupid in his succeeding roles after this one. Perhaps we might even see an ‘Ace Ventura III’ if we’re really lucky.

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