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YES MAN

SYNOPSIS:
Carl Allen (Jim Carrey) seems to be treading water in his life. In his job as bank loans officer, he declines all applications, and in his private life, he makes excuses as to why he is unable to participate. That is, until he goes along to a seminar run by self-help guru Terrence Bundley (Terence Stamp) who professes the road to happiness begins with the word YES.

Review by Louise Keller:
The real question could well be why does Jim Carrey say Yes to these stupid films that do nothing to showcase his considerable talent. The main problem with Yes Man is not the basic concept, but the fact that the story is not grounded in reality. It is not bizarre enough to be outrageously funny, nor is it touching or moving or any of those things that would make saying Yes into a Yes experience. There are a few good ideas including Zooey Deschanel's spontaneous and zany Allison whose quirky lifestyle is credible, but much of the action the three scriptwriters have cobbled together from Danny Wallace's book feels fabricated for the quick laugh.

Yes is the new No, screams the brochure promoting the philosophy of Terence Stamp's obsessive guru Terrence Bundley. It all begins when Carrey's staid, single bank officer Carl is persuaded to go along to an initiation at which Stamp corners him publicly. We have already met Carl in his every day life: he is a No Man - at work and at play. Irrespective of what comes up, the answer is No. There is no question that life changes for Carl from the moment he leaves the initiation. In fact, this is probably the best part of the movie. It is almost liberating when Carl is approached by the homeless man who wants a lift in his car (and use of his phone and money to line his pocket), because we understand exactly how he feels. But scenes like the one in which his elderly neighbour Tilly (Fionnula Flanagan) offers sexual favours fall flat and floppy.

I like the subplot involving Carl's juvenile New Zealand bank boss Norm (Rhys Darby), who revels in Harry Potter dress-up parties and there's a pay off to the hundreds of bank loans that the newly gung-ho Carl approves. But the scenes involving a suicidal musician, the Korean wedding planner, the Middle-Eastern internet dating service and a spontaneous trip to Nebraska in which Carl is arrested as a suspected terrorist, are simply a series of ill-advised sketches with little reward. Only for those who cannot say No.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 1

YES MAN (M)
(US, 2008)

CAST: Jim Carrey, Zooey Deschanel, Bradely Cooper, John Michael Higgins, Rhys Darby, Danny Masterson, Fionnula Flanagan, Terence Stamp, Sasha Alexander, Molly Sims

PRODUCER: Jim Carrey, David Heyman, Richard D. Zanuck

DIRECTOR: Peyton Reed

SCRIPT: Nicholas Stoller, Jarrad Paul, Andrew Mogel (book by Danny Wallace)

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Robert D. Yeoman

EDITOR: Craig Alpert

MUSIC: Mark Everett, Lyle Workman

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Andrew Laws

RUNNING TIME: 104 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: January 1, 2009







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