Yes Man (2008)

(On TV, January 2015)  I’m not sure when the Jim Carrey golden era ended.  We all know it started in 1994, but the classic rubber-faced speed-talking Carrey sort of petered out during the mid-2000s, and Yes Man, with its similarities with archetypical Carrey vehicle Liar, Liar, feels like the end of an era not even eight years later.  Suffice to say that a simple premise (a man convinced he must say Yes! To all questions asked of him) leads to ample opportunities for broad comedy in the typical Carrey mold, stripping away a clean-cut exterior to reveal madness within.  Carrey is pretty good as his usual shtick, even though the mechanics of the say-yes plot are moronic at best.  This being said, the film doesn’t quite work as a romantic comedy, partially because Carrey is eighteen years older than co-star Zooey Deschanel (and looks like it; the role plays better as a young-man one) and partially because the film has such a high concept that it sucks all the oxygen required for a romantic subplot to truly breathe – it simply falls back on broad strokes in which the audience supplies their own emotional connection based on generic subplot knowledge.  Still, Yes Man isn’t hard to watch – it’s good-natured, dumb and goofy enough to be pleasant even when it doesn’t do much that the expected.  Terence Stamp has a fun turn as a cranky motivational speaker and, of course, Carrey is likable no matter the circumstances.  While the results may not be spectacular, they do extend what we could think of as the classic-Carrey filmography and that’s already nothing to dismiss.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *