Sunday, December 28, 2008

"Yes Man" Grade: C-

"Yes Man" (2008)
Grade: C-
“Yes Man” is basically a poor person’s rehash of “Liar, Liar”, Jim Carrey’s very similar in concept 1997 film which is much better by the way. There is little to admire here. The script seems rushed, like something that was shoved into production without it being really flushed out. This is not an actively bad film; it is just forgettable and pointless which is just as bad. One of the major problems with the film is that while in “Liar, Liar”, Carrey cannot help but tell the truth and he is a lawyer so this places him in some very troublesome situations; a situation he cannot help. In “Yes Man” Carrey decided to follow the program of the yes man. He decides it. First of all it is ridiculous to think that someone can fundamentally change their ways by deciding to say yes to everything in a second. Second of all the things he says yes to are things he pretty much wants to do anyways. So there is no real conflict for the entire film except at the end when he gets stopped at an airport because his saying yes to everything leads to him being a suspected terrorist! I am not joking. And of course, Zooey Deschanel then finds out he just says yes to everything and has to consider whether or not he really wanted to do anything with her. Seriously, this is the movie. He says yes automatically even during times when he should not at all and yet it is not compulsive; it is a choice. This makes no sense at all. Also when he says no, bad things happen to him. So he actually does have to take that old woman on her offer to give him a blow job. Again, seriously, this is a scene in the movie. Zooey Deschanel plays the oh so free spirited love interest who teaches jogging photography lessons and has an experimental sort of rock band. Oooh how clever. She does the best she can with it and she looks great.

Honestly there were a few terrible scenes. One was when he gets into a drunken fight with the boyfriend of a girl who he randomly kissed without her permission. Am I supposed to be on his side because honestly it was a dumb thing to do. Guess what the boyfriend looks like? He’s tall and bulky and bald; he looks like he is from a motorcycle gang of sorts. How has this become the stereotype of the boyfriend who starts fights with people in bars? Then there is the old woman scene. Then there is the scene when he talks down a man who is about to kill himself by singing “Jumper” to him on a guitar which would have been fine because it was amusing and it is a song I nostalgically love and just plain love as well but then everyone else starts singing and soon the scene becomes retarded.

That being said I do like a few things about the film. Rhys Darby, the manager from “Flight of the Conchords” steals every scene he is in, genuinely being funny. Carrey, while never creating a distinct character for the film, does do the best he can with the jokes and there are several moments when I actually laughed out loud whether it be from his delivery or from something else he did. Terrence Stamp is very good as well in 2 scenes, his first being the best in the film. This was probably the only outright good scene in the entire thing. The “Harry Potter” party scene was very funny and there were definitely other moments and even scenes that I did not mind. I think the film seemed even worse to me because of the fresh new comedies coming out today that have just completely upped the game of the genre and what it can do. But still, this is a film that just is, and it is nothing more than funny during moments at best and utterly forgettable and bad at its worst.

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