Saturday, January 3, 2009

Yes Man - yes/no?

My first post of '09! I've been a hive of activity during the Christmas break as plague and contagion have badly hit our household and there's been nothing on the TV really. I did a spec synopsis for a thriller called At All Cost which I think I'll do a draft of this year. I also have an idea for a Christmas Movie which may work. Hopefully it will and I'll start next year as a millionaire....

I saw Yes Man last night with a remarkably rowdy audience but as this was a comedy starring Jim Carrey, the rowdiness seemed kind of appropriate. Jim plays Carl Allen, a negative loser who always says "no" to everything - dates, nights out with his mates, work responsibilities, etc. Due to a completely unrealistic encounter with a self-help guru, Carl ends up agreeing to start saying "yes" to everything instead, and hilarity ensues.

Or at least, hilarity sort of ensues. There were bits where I was laughing uncontrollably but these were few and far between compared to some of Jim Carrey's previous films. I've read Danny Wallace's book, which the film is (very loosely) based on, and it has to be said that the film loses a lot of the mundane but really funny obstacles that Wallace actually encountered. For example, having to say yes to chuggers. To phone salesmen. To newspaper small ads. To two parties in one night, necessitating a mad dash across town. These were the little gems that made the book a great read, but instead we have Jim... getting a BJ from his old-lady neighbour. What is this, American Pie?

The script resorts far too often to lazy frat-boy humour when it should have been concentrating more on exploiting the comic possibilities of having to say "Yes". The other thing that bugged me was that Jim's character obviously hated his job - and yet was still in it at the end. Shouldn't he have harnassed the power of Yes to get out of it? Some people have a problem with the age-gap between Jim and his love-interest Zooey Deschanel. Frankly I didn't notice - Deschanel seems a lot more mature than she is and her character is one of the best things about this movie.

Overall, Yes Man is a good antidote to Christmas and has a message we can all learn from - say yes when your friends ask you to go to the pub with them.

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