Yes Man

So, it’s from one film adaptation of a book I’ve read and liked to another, as I recently sat down to watch Yes Man, a film based on the best-selling book of the same name by Danny Wallace.Is it any good? Scroll to the bottom and find out! Read my review thoroughly and find out!

Yes Man (2008)

It must be hard adapting a book into a film. I mean, is the film meant to put everything that’s on the page up there on the big screen? If so, what’s the point in doing it then? Mind you, if a film takes too many liberties with the source material, you’ll have the rabid fanboys and girls tearing down your door, ready to point out all the inaccuracies. My opinion is that you have to strike a balance between what made the book good in the first place and add some cinematic magic. Anyway, reading back my Half-Blood Prince review, I realised I kept banging on about the book, so I decided I would judge Yes Man purely on its own merit, rather than comparing it to the source material.

“The world’s a playground. You know that when you are a kid, but somewhere along the way everyone forgets it.”

Carl Allen (Jim Carrey) is getting nowhere in life. He ignores his friends’ calls and is spending night after night slumped in front of his T.V. However, that all changes when Carl visits a self-help seminar headed by Terrence Bundley (Terence Stamp), where he discovers the power of “Yes” and vows to answer yes to everything, no matter how ludicrous. As plots go, it’s a neat twist on the tired rom-com formula (yes, it’s one of those). Whilst Jim Carrey and Zooey Deschanel are fine, I do think that the decision to cast Carrey was a mistake. One, because the premise is way too similar to 1997 Carrey film Liar Liar and two, because Carrey only has two main modes these days: zany and serious. Trouble is, he’s getting a bit old for zany and his serious mode wouldn’t suit the film. What we’re left with is like someone doing a bad, half-hearted Ace Ventura impression for their gran and her friends, all of who have no idea who the character is, but all been assured that it’s “a real hoot”.

The film can be painfully unfunny at times with most of it being the fault of the usually brilliant Rhys “Flight of the Conchords” Darby playing a nerdy boss. I was fucking tempted to fashion the DVD case into a shiv and jam it into my jugular when he answer the door in full Leonidas (from 300) gear, shouting “We are Sparta!”. If I may go off on a rant for a bit- and there’s not much you can do if you do mind, what is it with this lazy movie referencing culture recently? It seems that all you have to do is say the name of a film and the dopey public will guffaw and slap their fins together for more of the same. It’s pathetic and mostly the fault of Family Guy, which has become as funny as finding half a kitten on your porch in the morning. Go and watch early episodes of The Simpsons, certain episodes of South Park and all of Spaced, you pop culture obsessed fuckwagons…

Now I’ve vented my spleen, I can soberly tell you that Yes Man isn’t a bad film by any stretch of the imagination. It’s alright, but the concept deserves much more attention. There are very few things Carl doesn’t want to do, which surely is the better opportunity for comedic moments? Anyway, the film has enough charming moments to not make you feel like you’ve wasted your time watching it. It’s just that I wanted it to be so much more. I knew it was only taking the concept from the book and I was fine with that. I like Jim Carrey and wanted him to put in a Truman Show-like performance, but it was not to be.

“Why don’t you take a late night stroll through the hills and get killed by the Manson family? Don’t mind if I do!”

Yes Man is an odd film. It’s fun, charming and occasionally funny, but doesn’t do anything new. Still, there are worse ways to kill 2 or so hours…

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