MOVIE: ***1/2 (out of 5)
DVD EXPERIENCE: *** (out of 5)
Jim Carrey as CARL ALLEN
Zooey Deschanel as ALLISON
Bradley Cooper as PETER
John Michael Higgins as NICK
Rhys Darby as NORMAN
Danny Masterson as ROONEY
Studio: Warner Bros.
BY KEVIN CARR
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
Carl Allen (Jim Carrey) is a bit of a pathetic, middle-aged man. He leads a very boring, very safe and very humdrum life, constantly avoiding opportunities that come his way. After he connects with Nick (John Michael Higgins), an old friend who drags him to a self-help seminar, Carl decides to change his life by saying “Yes!” to any and all opportunities that come his way.
WHAT I LIKED
After a series of more significant dramatic pieces and over-the-top comedies, Jim Carrey returns to his slapstick and everyman comedic roots with “Yes Man.” In many ways, this film reminded me of his movie “Liar, Liar” because it was relatively self-contained and had a definite gimmick. That’s okay in my book because these are the kind of films that serve as Carrey’s bread and butter.
Over the years, it’s been easy to find Carrey wearing on your nerves. With over-the-top characters like The Grinch and Ace Ventura, it’s nice to have a relatively down-to-earth protagonist. “Yes Man” allows Carrey to stretch as an average guy while being zany and giving his audience what we’d expect.
There’s also a bit of inspiration that people can take from this film. After all, who wouldn’t want to be in a position to say “Yes” to everything – from learning Korean to bungee jumping? Beyond the silliness of this film, the story might give the audience a boost to become more adventurous and lead a less boring life.
Finally, I dearly love Zooey Deschanel, who plays Allison, Carrey’s love interest in the film. This is a perfect role for her quirky, artistic style. Deschanel is never going to be a pin-up girl, but she will always hold a spot in my heart as the cute and spunky girl next door. I like seeing her show up in more mainstream roles like this.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
There are times that Carrey’s zaniness does get to be a bit much, but it does work in the confines of the story. And speaking of the story and set-up, things are a bit thin on the lead-in. You get everything you need to know about the character and story from the trailer, so there is a bit of a feeling that you’re marking time in the beginning, waiting for Carrey to take charge of his “Yes Man” life.
The DVD comes with a bonus disc with Digital Download, allowing you to rip the film onto your portable viewing device.
On the bonus features front, in addition to a five-minute gag reel, there’s two featurettes spotlighting Jim Carrey and the general tone on set. In “Downtime on the Set of Yes Man with Jim Carrey,” the funnyman does point out the reality of filmmaking – that it’s one of the most boring things to watch happen. This leads into how much fun is had on set with Carrey goofing around. It is a bit egocentric to Carrey, but what would you expect from a featurette about an A-list actor?
There’s also “Jim Carrey: Extreme Yes Man,” a look at the various stunts performed on the film, including the moments that Carrey does himself. I’ll give the guy credit: He’s doing some of the real work, from riding a rollerblade outfit to bungee jumping and then having to deliver dialogue. One of the more interesting moments comes from a staged dog attack during which Carrey is noticeably concerned with the leash breaking, and it’s interesting to see the real-life drama on set.
Finally, what I considered to be one of the better moments on the DVD, a mockumentary about Allison’s progressive rock band Munchausen By Proxy. Set up as a VH1-style spotlight, this is a very funny piece about a band that doesn’t exist but has some potentially appropriate music videos. To round this Munchausen By Proxy angle out, there are five songs performed by the band in the bar setting of the film.
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
Old-school Jim Carrey fans… and anyone who adores Zooey Deschanel.