At the Quality 16 and Showcase
3.5 out of 5 Stars
Jim Carrey is at his best when he restrains his zaniness — when he’s less of a cartoon and more of a human being. “Yes Man” delivers the Carrey who successfully merges the two — the same Carrey from “Liar Liar” and “Bruce Almighty.”
Carrey plays Carl, a man who spends his life saying “no” to every opportunity. After attending a seminar in which he is instructed to say “yes” to any and all requests, he decides to do just that. Of course, his new behavior leads to numerous crazy instances where Carrey takes flying lessons, learns to speak Korean, drinks enough Red Bull to stay up all night and more.
What isn’t surprising is the film’s warm message about saying “yes” to life. What is surprising about the film is how funny it actually is. Trailers make “Yes Man” look like a generic, ho-hum comedy. Don’t buy into that. There are some big laughs to be had as well as a genuinely touching romance between Carl and Allison (a luminous Zooey Deschanel, “The Happening”).
This film demonstrates how a premise so slight can still be enjoyable when told the right way. And with so many dark and depressing films circulating in theaters this time of year, it’s nice to have one that not only has an uplifting message, but also makes viewers feel better after watching it. Now that’s something to say “yes” to.