Sunday, March 6, 2011

Yes Man

Yes Man; Comedy, USA, 2008; D: Peyton Reed, S: Jim Carrey, Zooey Deschanel, Bradley Cooper, John Michael Higgins, Terence Stamp

Los Angeles. Carl leads an unexciting and monotone life: he still can't get over his ex-wife Stephanie, has a grey job and rejects every invitation for something new. One day, his old friend persuades him to attend a seminar where motivational guru Terrence pitches his "Say Yes to everything" attitude. Carl is sceptical at first, but when he tries it out and transports a homeless man to a park, he meets the charming Allison. Quickly, he says yes to everything and suddenly finds a new positive perspective in life. However, when Allison learns about his experiment, she breaks up with him. He persuades her to come back and learns that even a "No" is sometimes OK.

"Yes Man" is some sort of a "restructuring" of Jim Carrey's own '97 comedy "Liar Liar", but a better one at that since here the protagonist's own choice to try out saying "Yes" to (literally!) everything in order to change his perspective at life seems more honest. After watching it, your first immediate thought is: "This is the most positive movie in the world!" There is simply something stimulative in the contagiously fun gandhiesque concept of non-resistance where the protagonist just takes on every challenge, as if he can absorb everything and all the negative energy can be transformed into positive, which almost reaches philosophical dimensions, albeit humorous ones. The beginning and the ending are uneven and clumsy whereas Carrey again uses his grimaces and fools around, yet he is somehow more sympathetic in this edition, whereas the sequence where he fabulously plays Third Eye Blind's song "Jumper" on a guitar to persuade a man from jumping off a building is even one of 2-3 best things he ever did in his entire career: it's a pure 'tour-de-force' feel-good moment.


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