Recently I watched Yes Man, a 2008 comedy starring Jim Carrey. I am a fan of Jim’s; I love the way he can screw up his face in so many truly bizarre ways. His antics always make me laugh. This film was no exception. Yes Man is rated PG-13 for crude sexual humor, language and brief nudity. Sometimes I don’t agree with the ratings, but I do for this one. It has adult content in it, but not enough to warrant an R rating.
Carl Allen (Jim Carrey) is a depressed divorced guy who works as a loan officer in a bank. His friends, including Peter (Bradley Cooper), try to get him out of being in a funk, to no avail. Carl turns himself around though when he goes with a friend to a motivational lecture by a guru like teacher, Terrence (Terrence Stamp). Terrence publicly confronts Carl during his talk, and challenges him to say yes to everything presented to him. Carl begins to follow this directive. It got me thinking about another film of Jim’s, Liar Liar, where the main character cannot tell a lie. Both involve rigid ways of relating in the world, seemingly impossible to carry out.
But Carl keeps saying yes, and the results are surprising, kind of crazy (watch out for his neighbor lady), and ultimately results in his meeting the breath of springtime air he longs for in the free spirit of Allison (Zooey Deschanel). Their age difference is a bit much, 18 years to be exact (they share the same birthday), but somehow the love interest between them works. Allison is a singer in a funky band and has her own quirky way of approaching the world that Carl finds attractive.
Eventually, as might be expected, saying yes to everything without weighing the consequences can bring trouble, and it does. I really applaud the creativity of the screenwriters for their inventiveness in the situations that Carl finds himself in. I recommend this film. It kept me laughing all the way through.
I enjoyed seeing Zooey Deschanel in Yes Man, having seen her previously in Elf and in (500) Days of Summer. She is lovely, good at playing offbeat characters, and has a very nice singing voice.
Jim won two Best Actor Golden Globes for his performances in The Truman Show and Man on the Moon. I recall his acceptance speech for the second one where he commented that now he’s the Tom Hanks of the Golden Globes (Tom won two Oscars for best actor for Philadelphia and Forrest Gump).
My favorite Jim Carrey film, however, is The Majestic. If you haven’t seen it, you may be amazed at how good he is at playing it straight. His career is known for his physical comedy and outrageous faces, but in The Majestic, he shines as a fictional screenwriter in Hollywood during the McCarthy era. An inspiring, and touching film, I highly recommend it, along with the other films I mentioned in this review.