Friday, December 26, 2008

REVIEW: Yes Man


Yes Man

Year: 2008
Director: Peyton Reed
Starring: Jim Carrey, Zooey Deschanel, Bradley Cooper, Danny Masterson, Rhys Darby
Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures
MPAA: Rated Pg-13

I'm a big Carrey fan and always have been. I think the man can do just about anything if he really puts his time into it. So when I first saw the trailer for Yes Man, I thought it looked pretty fun. I mean sure it didn't look as funny as Bruce Almighty or Dumb & Dumber, but I was still willing to go see it because Carrey was in it. The real question was when?

Plot Outline:
Carl Allen (Jim Carrey) is a dull man who is stuck in a dull life. He's been living the same life for three years ever since his girlfriend left him. His best friend Peter (Bradley Cooper) tries to draw him back into life, but Carl remains a hermit, saying no to every invitation he gets. When he accidentally forgets Peter's engagement party Carl decides to change his life drastically. He signs up for a Yes Man seminar by philosophy guru Terrence Bundley (Terrence Stamp) and embraces life by saying yes to any offer that's made to him.

Plot:
The premise of Yes Man isn't really good. I thought the film's plot wasn't really engrossing and it just felt too predictable. I mean a whole movie about a person saying "yes" to everything and getting something special in return? Its like that episode of Seinfeld, where George tries to change his life by saying the opposite of everything and getting a positive reaction back. The problem with that is that it was a 30 min episode compared to an almost hour and half movie here. I just didn't think their was enough material and cohesion to keep the movie following. Its as if they had to keep coming up with ideas even if they weren't related to the story, to keep the movie going such as the scene where Carrey plays the guitar to a stranger trying to jump off a building or the scene where Carry decides to try bungee jumping. Still, Yes Man succeeds in what its best at and that is to entertain you. The movie has a simple plot that's going to be easy to understand and fully get. The characters are easy to relate to and pretty straight forward. The film isn't really as funny as I would have hope for, but it still has a few laughs. I laughed alot more in Bruce Almighty than I did here. I still found some enjoyment in Yes Man, but just not as much as I would have hoped for.

Cast:
Jim Carrey plays as Carl Allen and hes probably the only one in the film that really stands out. I enjoyed his performance here even if it wasn't the best. I give props to Carrey for switching on and off from doing comedies while branching into other genres. I think Carrey can do amazing things when hes not grounded and limited to what he has to do. Zooey Deschanel plays as Allison and shes alright in her role. I didn't really think her character and Carrey's character shared much chemistry, but I thought she was a suitable actress for this job. Bradley Cooper plays as Carl's best friend, Peter. I'm not sure if I have seen him in another movie or not, but hes alright in this movie. He too does a suitable job here, but nothing that's going to stand out. Danny Masterson plays as Carl's other best friend, Rooney. Its nice to see Masterson doing more high profile movies like this after doing That '70s Show, but I'm not particularly sure if he was the right person to be playing this role. He doesn't get enough screen time or much dialogue and I just think hes out of place. He looks alittle too young around the other cast mates.

Picture:
The visual look of Yes Man is mostly great. The film being a new release benefits from a pristine film source. Film grain is not an issue and I wasn't able to detect any. The image was stable and consistent through out the films run time. Colors were pretty darn good with the film showing off alot of different locations. Its vibrant and very pretty to look at. I guess this doesn't come as much of a surprise considering alot of the films scenes are mostly shot outside. Black levels are also pretty strong and hold up well in darker scenes. The film never gets too dark or too bright and manages to keep a well balanced scene. Flesh tones are accurate and mostly natural. They aren't too warm or muddy. Detail is pretty good for the most part. Close up shots show a good amount of detail on the character's faces. Their are a few scenes that I thought could have looked alittle more detailed, but generally this is a good looking film.

Sound:
The films soundtrack is pretty average at best. It doesn't look like the films got its very own score and nor should it. A comedy flick like this shouldn't have epic music to go with the goofy dialogue, but it would be nice if the music we get here was at least satisfying. We get various music ranging from hip/hop to a bunch of melodies. These all sound fine, but I never felt satisfying with the music. I thought it was missing something like a clever tune or something. The film's got a decent amount of bass too. I wasn't expecting the film to blow me away with its bass, but I was pleasantly surprised to see it go alittle higher than what I had originally expected. Its not reference material, but its perfectly fine for a film like this.

Conclusion:
Yes Man is a decent, yet predictable movie. The film's plot feels unstable and not meant for a whole movie. Its easily forgettable and darn predictable. Still, it has plenty of scenes that will entertain you and give you a nice time at the theater. Just don't expect to burst in tears while rolling on the ground laughing. The films cast is pretty good with Jim Carrey showing yet again why hes better than his cast mates. The visual look of the movie is great with alot of vibrant colors and a stable image. The soundtrack isn't all that good and just didn't cut it for me. I mean its perfectly fine for a comedy like this, but I guess I was expecting alittle more. I would recommend you at least check this film out if your bored or looking for a film to see with the family.

Grade: C-

4 comments:

Monique Elisabeth said...

The movie is far from perfect (I particularly hated the beginning when he's saying no to everything, and making excuses that don't make any sense), but overall I was really inspired by it. Even though it's not necessarily plausible in real life to say yes to everything, I think it's a nice reminder to try to do it. And ultimately a nice reminder to be a good person and a positive person.

Anonymous said...

OMG is Jim Carrey hilarious in this movie.

I was going to take my young kids to see this movie because the tv commercials looked so good. Luckily I decided to see it online first .. it's definately not for 10-year olds!

Take my advice and check it out first if you have kids. I was able to watch yes man online first at http://www.0daymovies.com/2008/12/14/watch-yes-man-online-free/ .

But the movie is great for adults.

David Bishop said...

I know you didn't like the soundtrack that much, but I really enjoyed the inclusion of Journey's "Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)" in the movie. It's used at the very beginning, transformed into a ringtone, and then emerges once more for the big motorcycle scene.

It was predictable, but I think Jim Carrey really helped 'carrey' the picture. I'm with Monique. I found myself actually a little inspired by the message in this movie. For a throw-away comedy, I was quite pleased.

Farzan said...

@Monique:
I guess it's possible to say yes to everything in real life, but Im not sure it might be the ideal thing since their could be some downfall to this. I still think the movie was alright and mildly entertaining, but its a notch down from Bruce Almighty.

@David:
I agree that Carrey once again saved and moved the film. Hes always the one that mostly stands out in his movies and its becuase of his comedy aspects that make him the ideal person for the job.