Review by Jack Foley
JIM Carrey really ought to have thought twice before saying ‘yes’ to Yes Man, a lame, irritating comedy based on the best-selling novel by Danny Wallace.
Peyton Reed’s film is a laboured, mostly unfunny experience that’s likely to leave people feeling more negative than positive afterwards.
Carl Allen (Carrey) is a man who has given up on life until he’s forced to attend a seminar that encourages him to say “yes” to everything that life offers him, no matter how scary or inconvenient it seems.
Reluctantly, Carl begins to do so and soon finds that his newfound positivity yields some rich rewards, including a new shot at love with a kooky musician (Zooey Deschanel) and the hard-won respect of his sceptical friends.
The biggest problem with Yes Man is that it’s simply too contrived. None of the situations or characters ring true and the humour, as a result, feels forced.
Carrey attempts to compensate by mugging hysterically and resorting to the type of OTT physical comedy that dominated his Ace Ventura days, but ultimately becomes annoying in the extreme. While the likes of John Michael Higgins, Bradley Cooper and Rhys Darby (of Flight Of The Conchords fame) struggle to bring any depth or sincerity to their supporting characters.
A lot of the jokes, too, veer towards the painfully drawn out or mean spirited, while many of the situations Reeds’ characters find themselves in fail to ring true.
Viewers may muster the odd smirk in a couple of Carrey’s pratfalls, while a romantic interlude between Carrey and Deschanel on the stage of the Hollywood Bowl offers a rare moment of relief.
But in the main this is predictably sentimental, hopelessly dispiriting rubbish that really is best ignored. Just say no.
Running time: 104mins
UK DVD & Blu-ray Release: April 20, 2009
- Buy it on DVD (Amazon)
- Buy it on Blu-ray (Amazon)
- Read our review
- Jim Carrey interview
- Zooey Deschanel interview
- Yes Man UK Premiere photos