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4.1 out of 5 stars
Yes Man [DVD] [2008]
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on 26 December 2008
Yes Man is loosely based on the book by a British chap called Danny Wallace. (Hollywood is hoovering up our comedians, it seems... and if that sentence isn't laden with huffiness, I wrote it wrong.) The film and the book differ in all ways but the name, almost, so if you read it and you're hoping to see its likeness on the screen, you'll be really disappointed, maybe... but perhaps that's not necessarily a bad thing, as the film really is most good.

Zooey Deschanel (of Elf fame - she sings in this, too... such a treat!) plays the love interest and Terence Stamp is the self-help guru who galvanizes our hero. Both are excellent but, as usual, it's all about the Carrey who stars as Carl Allen, a fella whose life is a terrible shade of grey. He displays all the symptoms of depression, and his performace actually resonated quite deeply. He doesn't go out except to go to work where his day consists of answering "No" to loan applicants and he actively avoids human contact - including his friends - often going to great lengths to do so... he's created a bubble that he exists in, and he is unhappy and very much alone having bricked himself in.

Carrey is under-rated as a serious actor - but this is the same chap who gave a beautiful performance in The Truman Show. In Yes Man, his portrayal of a depressed man is really very authentic, and if you recognise his behaviour in yourself (as I did) you may find early parts of the film a little difficult. It's an out and out comedy, but seeing something so personal - shameful - on the big screen can be painful.

His humour is broad, it has to be said: many feel that it's lowest common denominator fare and it's impossible to tell someone whether they'll find something funny or not. That everyone was laughing simultaneously while watching isn't terribly convincing or telling, either. But, I laughed out loud several times, and found him hugely likeable. There's nothing cynical or mean about this, at all: it's well-natured, and happy and a much needed shot of simple, cheerful goodness in a sea of comedy that's spiteful and "confrontational" and full of knowing glances. Equally, I can well see many finding this genuinely inspirational: I'm not sure how realistic it all is, but it's certainly a wonderful message about embracing life and being less afraid of what it has to offer.

Yes Man is a lovely film; one that can very much lift your spirits. I left the film feeling really quite uplifted and comforted and I recommend it very much. Not least because everyone should see Carrey squeezed into a toddler's Hogwarts jumper at least once in their life...
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
When Carl's (Jim Carrey) marriage fell apart, so did his life. Even though it's been two years, he still can't move on. So he sits at home and avoids his friends. Not that Peter (Bradley Cooper) and Rooney (Danny Masterson) let him drop out of life completely. Carl works at a bank where he denies every loan that comes across his desk.

Things changes dramatically when he decides to attend a conference run by Terrence Bundley (Terrence Stamp). Singled out of the crowd, Carl is put on the spot and agrees to a new contract with himself, to say "Yes" to everything that comes his way.

And almost immediately it begins working for him as he meets Allison (Zooey Deschanel). The two begin a romance very quickly. But can Carl continue his winning streak by saying "Yes" to everything?

This is the part where I condemn the movie with faint praise.

Billed as a comedy, there were several laugh out loud moments. Emphasis on the several. I was ready to laugh hard at the entire movie, and that just didn't happen.

On the whole, the movie is pretty predictable. That was one reason I didn't find it as funny as I expected to. I saw most of the jokes coming long before the punch line. Likewise, all but a couple of the plot points were overly familiar.

On the other hand, I found the story enjoyable. I identified with Carl a little too much, so I was rooting for him to get out of his rut and enjoy life again. Heck, it even made me rethink how I am living my life. Pretty head stuff from a comedy. And the great acting from everyone in the cast made it easy to like the characters.

Since the movie is rated PG-13, I expected the language and sexual nature of some of the jokes. But there were a couple in particular that I found out of line and squirm inducing.

So the problem with the movie really comes down to the writing. I really do think there was promise in the premise for some genuine comedy, but it never developed into what it could have been. This is a definite rent before you buy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
'Carl' ( Jim Carey ) is in a rut, his life is going nowhere fast, he seems to say 'no' to allmost everything wether it's making excuses to not meet up with his friends to saying no to the vast majority of loan applicants at the bank at which he works.
Having lost his marriage some while back his life is nearly allways..work..a visit to the 'video' store..home...watch the films and yes it's nearly allways alone.............until...he actually says yes to attend a meeting where members are encouraged to say 'yes' more often than 'no'..........'Carl' is singled out by the speaker as a new member.
'Carl' takes the directive on board, but he takes it as an instruction to never say no..............it completely changes the dynamics of his life.
The film is sometimes outragous often very funny, but more importantly has a decent story-line flow.
I think this is probably one of the best movies 'Jim Carey' had done for a while back then which in my opinion, i'd say...it's worthy of at least a watch......
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
In 'Yes Man', Jim Carrey stars as a bank worker who is in need of a spiritual and motivational revival. The answer comes along in the form of a guru, brilliantly portrayed by Terence Stamp, who teaches his followers simply to believe in the power of saying 'Yes' to life. The trials and challenges subsequently endured by Carrey's character are akin to those of Bill Murray's in 'Groundhog Day'. However, while Murray's film stands as a likeable classic, I thought I'd dislike 'Yes Man' and end up as a 'No Man', or a 'Maybe'. I did find the initial scenes a bit awkward. Jim Carrey is a very funny comedic actor, with a background as a stand-up comedian, but the comedic approach used here at the beginning didn't work. Thankfully, the clunkiness soon gave way to a more meaningful, absurdist film that makes good use of the other, more subtle, side of Carrey's talent: his ability to be light-hearted but with a sense of seriousness. The material is neither deep nor blessed with profundity, but this film is fun to watch as Carrey gets into his stride and we see his character over-compensate for his past coldness by applying the guru's message in some pretty extreme ways. And the central message is true. Life isn't about 'maybe'. Life is about 'Yes'. Not quite a cure for ennui, this is just old-fashioned, harmless entertainment - but I enjoyed it, Yes.

The DVD has some good featurettes, including songs by what appears to be a fictitious band fronted by Zooey Deschanel's character.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 9 July 2009
This is a return to form for Jim Carrey after the disappointing Number 23 (i liked it, but not a lot of people did). Carrey stars as Carl, the man who says "No" to everything including his mates. But after one of his old workmates offers him a chance to change his life and after a dream where no-one seemed to care he was dead, he decides to attend a "Yes" conference where you must say "Yes" to everything. This word changes Carls work and personal lives for the better with hilarious moments throughout.

An awesome movie, looks amazing on Blu-ray and also has some great extras included.
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on 3 January 2010
Carl Allen (Carrey) a negative no man is challenged to say yes to everything that comes his way, which he accepts in the hope of becoming a better person

The concept of saying yes to everything that comes your way is an interesting prospect given that there are so many situations which would normally require a no. Myself, a fairly negative person, was quite thrilled when I first watched this a year ago, being completely transfixed by the apparent ease like Carrey's character. Sadly for me it never materialized because I ruined the film through criticizing the standard formatting of the final stages. Now however I can see past that.

Jim Carrey starring in another big idea comedy sets us in motion as we follow him in his life by saying no to everything and anything. When a friend shows him what he is missing out of life he turns up at a positive say yes lecture and the film is set in motion.

His first act of positive thinking is to give a homeless man a trip far out of his way, lending him his phone and money. This spells comedy light heartedness and some charming Carrey wisdom which because of his helpfulness leads to something good.

Carrey the arguable king of physical comedy is slightly held back here. There isn't as much wide mouthed madness as in The Mask or brilliant cleverness from Ace Ventura. This comedy portrayal feels like his Liar Liar character which allows him some more normal man approach, which is what the character needed given the context of the film. Carrey, performing most of his own stunts including the bungee jump sequence still flies high with some physical comedy, particularly the motorbike sequences.

Zooey Deschanel fills the necessary love interest role with some clever contentedness. The best supporting star is Rhys Darby who brings the stereotype of nerd to a new level with some very amusing and elaborate comedy. The Harry Potter party is pure genius.

This film boasts one healthy soundtrack with Zooey and her band on particular fine tune with positive springy songs.

Characters and performances aside, this is all about the apparent simplicity of saying yes. Carl initially rejects everything then after the lecture starts his yes streak before learning how to control it.

There are only a few problems with this film's projection and pitching of using this ideology in your real life.

For one Carl is at a very good job and is earning plentiful. Therefore when opportunities arise he is able to take them without worrying about the consequences, which wouldn't necessarily be the case for all viewers. The second is that whilst the film is undeniably feel good and energetic, the descent into conventional story has been tackled too frequently in comedies.

However this film has an advantage over other comedies as it is beneficial for the human personality. Saying yes is certainly more encouraging, so say yes and see.

8/10
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 9 August 2009
I like Jim Carrey and I think that he does actualy have a brain which shows in his film choices. His latest works do have a point or two to add to the human experience. This film does not disappoint and puts you in the land of the living not in fantasy worlds. A good story and script which has been strengthened by carefull character writing. The actors are all good if not brilliant. Lots of good laughs and the blu ray media as always provides extra quality sound and vision. I enjoyed this film, but loses a star for unnecessarily having the old woman neighbour character.
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on 9 July 2015
Whilst not being quite the memorable and original flick this could have been from the set up, it's still amiable and fun enough to be worth a watch. In theory it's based on the book by Danny Wallace but apart from the central premise it doesn't really have a great deal in common (although eagle eyed fans of Danny may spot him in a tiny background cameo).

That set up is gloriously simple yet has so many possibilities - Jim Carrey is Carl, a clerical worker who's unhappy with his lot in life. He attends a seminar and discovers the power of Yes - basically saying Yes to every single decision, be it large or small. What starts with relatively small things such as giving lifts to strangers, snorting hot sauce, putting up a neighbours shelves etc etc. soon escalates into something more fun and life changing.

What could have been a darker more subversive comedy does settle into pretty standard rom com fare before the end but it's likeable and amusing. It gives scope for Carreys brand of physical humour and he's on good form here, raising a fair few chuckles and the odd big belly laugh.

There's a solid supporting cast of familiar faces, most notably Bradley Cooper as the good looking best mate and Zooey Deschanel as the slightly kooky love interest (typecasting anyone?). Overall it's Carreys film though and if you enjoy his mugging then you're likely to enjoy this. Not as good as it might have been perhaps but such is life.
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on 2 February 2010
Jim, Jim, Jim, Jim, Jim... What are we going to do with you? You WERE genius. You WERE the next God of comedy - hell, then you even tickled us with your straight side. It's been a long time since the seminal 'Grinch', 'Spotless Mind', 'Ace Ventura (I)' et al, but let us be frank. Carey of late YOU SUCK! But just when you think he's gonna drift off and make the 10 pieces of garbage a year and be another 'whatever happened to....' we expect from Sandler, Ferrell and Stiller these days, 'Yes Man' comes out, not with a bang, not with a whistle, but a blink and you'll miss it. Performances from all involved are 10/10, story, score, location all perfect. It pretends to be a chick flick, and a cerebral over drinks argument piece, it makes people try the whole premise, it causes grown men to re-evaluate and young women to realise all men ARE that stupid. But when you've seen it- you do come away different, your stomach will hurt from the LOL's (sorry), and you'll fight the urge to go do something new, this my friends is what cinema is all bout. The last time I saw this (2 days ago) within the group of people who watched with me there were tears, an almost fight, choking, screaming with laughter, then a long discussion about how we should all try it.... Carey is back.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 26 June 2014
Very different to the book by Danny Wallace. Similar but it's a totally different, Jim Carey kind of humour, where as the book is more...British humour. If you want something silly and fun and not at all serious, light-hearted bit of entertainment, watch the film. If you want a good, hilarious read, get the book! That being said, the film was good in its own way I guess, bit cringey sometimes though. Worth a watch, but doesn't do justice to the book.
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