Friday, December 19, 2008

YES MAN: Yes, for Carrey Fans

YES MAN (romantic comedy)
Cast: Jim Carrey, Zooey Deschanel, Bradley Cooper, John Michael Higgins, Rhys Darby and
Terence Stamp Director: Peyton Reed
Time: 104 mins

Rating: * * *
(out of 4)

At the outset, let it be said that I am no fan of Jim Carrey's infantile
facial gags. This comedy is for those who can stand him and his rubber-faced, 'ooh, laugh-at- me-cos-I-am-so-funny attitude. Admittedly, Carrey (pictured) is a good actor as and when he plays it straight - as in 'The Truman Show' and 'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind'.

Here, he resorts to his old tricks off and on, probably to satisfy his fans.

WHAT'S IT ABOUT? Carl Allen (Carrey) is a bank-loan officer who has not recovered
emotionally from his divorce three years ago. Although his pals Peter (Bradley Cooper) and Rooney (Danny Masterson) try to nudge him out of his shell, Carl turns down every invitation to outings so that he can stay home to watch DVDs. A chance encounter with an old friend inspires him to attend a self-help seminar, where a guru (Terence Stamp as Terrence Bundley) preaches the power of saying 'yes' to every opportunity - and entering into a covenant with Carl to say 'yes' to everything.

Things don't work out well at first. He gives all his money to a homeless man and ends up on a hike to a gas station after his car runs dry. However, things take a turn for the better when he meets Allison (Zooey Deschanel), a woman who is in many ways his complete opposite and in other ways his perfect match. He finds that he can't say "no" to her - until she asks one tricky question.

WILL IT MAKE YOUR DAY? Yes and No. Yes, because Carrey and Deschanel have managed to turn this movie into a romantic comedy and infuse it with good screen chemistry. Yes, because Carrey is funny speaking Korean; for its nods to the Harry Potter franchise, etc..

No, because the work by director Peyton Reed ('The Break-Up'), working from an adaptation of
Danny Wallace's book by Nicholas Stoller, Jarrad Paul and Andrew Mogel, is uneven and episodic, with some laugh-out-loud moments and some really unfunny ones. I believe there are scenes in which Reed allowed Carrey to do his childish schtick. On the other hand, we must credit Reed for getting the best out of the co-stars, especially Terence Stamp and Deschanel.

THE LOWDOWN: If you don't mind Carrey's brand of comedy, yes, go for it.


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