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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

POSTER ART
Click poster to enlarge
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FILM DETAILS
Certificate
12A
Cast
Jim Carrey
Zooey Deschanel
Bradley Cooper
Terence Stamp
John Michael Higgins.
Directors
Peyton Reed.
Screenwriters
Nicholas Stoller
Jarrad Paul
Andrew Mogel.
Running Time
104 minutes

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Yes Man
It’s a high-concept Jim Carrey comedy. You know, like the ‘90s ones…


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Plot
A Carl Allen (Carrey) is going nowhere, his mantra being the word ‘no’ until he signs up for a self-help programme with a simple covenant: say ‘yes’ to everything. It changes his life, but his zeal starts to work against him.


Review
Yes Man
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Though Jim Carrey has toned down the physical characteristics that once made him famous, at a lean-framed 46 he still shows himself capable of going over a parked car and coming up off the floor as if he’s on fire with considerable aplomb in this adaptation of Danny Wallace’s bestselling book. The idea that you say yes to everything — spam emails, the religious crusaders at your front door, torrid sex with your elderly neighbour — is a neat device, and by all accounts almost did for Wallace, but it appears to have paid off handsomely for him since, so perhaps it does work? It works for Carrey’s character, too; initially that is. After attending a furiously overblown seminar hosted by the charismatic Terrence Bundley (Terence Stamp stomping flat-footed through his part the way Britney Spears now thumps across the stage), he embraces positivity and, lo and behold, everything changes for the better.

Unfortunately, the film’s initial promise dissipates soon after Allen’s life changes, as he begins dating the indomitably quirky and impossibly pretty Allison (a button-nosed Zooey Deschanel — open the dictionary, look up the word ‘kooky’ and you’ll find a photo of her there) and bonds with his boss, Norm — played by Flight Of The Conchords’ Rhys Darby, who almost steals the film with his charmingly gormless performance.

Allen takes life at full tilt, even heroically saving a suicide case at one point, and in doing so proves that positivism really does promote positivity. But after one particularly dreadful, clunking plot twist, which we must assume it took three writers to conjure up, his life — and the movie — begins to unravel like an old jumper.

Soon we’re in familiar Hollywood and Carrey territory: you have the final act to win the girl and save the day and yourself. It’s all freewheeling from there (there’s even a ‘wacky’ Carrey out of control on a motorbike sequence), and it’s so much the duller for it. Inevitably, Allen eventually discovers himself and even gets to rebuff the wife who initially broke his heart — just in case you’d missed the point that he was the victim and the good guy, and needed it nailed into your forehead.


Verdict
It’s charming enough with some nice comedy touches, but the initially intriguing premise is soon railroaded out of sight by its desire to conform to a tried-and-tested cinematic formula.


Reviewed by Philip Wilding

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for Yes Man
Empire Star Rating

noooo man

this movie is absolutely terrible. yes jim carey was funny in fun with dick and jane and liar liar but now he has just taken it over the top. he has pushed his luck too long and now he has hit rock bottom. the only thing thayt kept me watching this rubbish was the hot chick that plays carey girl friend who is old enough to be his daughter. THIS FILM DEFINES THE WORD TURKEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by snatch099 at 07:15, 15 September 2009 | Report This Post


Jim Carrey doing things we know from him, including all his crazy faces that we have seen so many times before throughout his carreer. The story is so predictable right from the get-go that even a blind man can see where it`s going. There are a few funny things in there but it never produces more than a big smile. Also the fact that the moral of the story being pushed so obviously breaks down the pleasure of watching. Make sure you got a puke bucket sitting next to your chair at the end. It`s ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by TheGodfather at 23:24, 07 September 2009 | Report This Post


Zooey Deschanel rocks

The film is quite fun but you have to see it just to see Zooey Deschanel's band pieces. She is the star on the Keytar ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by markwaters at 12:06, 17 July 2009 | Report This Post


Very enjoyable

Hilarious in places, amusing in others, and generally heart warming. Jim Carrey is on fine form; he never seems to grow up! Zooey Deschanel melts the heart with her cute little looks and strange antics. Highly enjoyable. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Lukecrowter at 11:19, 10 June 2009 | Report This Post


funny the first time, not so much after that ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by carzed_fairy at 23:14, 24 April 2009 | Report This Post


funny the first time, not so much after that ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by carzed_fairy at 23:14, 24 April 2009 | Report This Post


Its high concept plot makes for some well-conceived laughs, but it frequently degenerates into American comedy 101. Still, it’s very watchable, even if Carrey grinds your gears. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Romarth at 21:45, 03 March 2009 | Report This Post


This film I did actully see twice in the cinema. It was ok and did have alot of funny moments in it. My personal opinion is that Yes man could have been alot better. The film took a bit to long to get in to the storey line and even when it got there, there was no real plot. My advise is just wait for the DVD. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by TheCraigmiester at 10:48, 22 February 2009 | Report This Post


say No to YES MAN

It's an absolute let-down, The crapiest Jim Carrey flick I've seen so far, Ok, to Jim but the rest was just godaweful. Bad acting, annoying dialogues and very very little fun. This film's a big yawn. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by m_er at 19:07, 04 February 2009 | Report This Post


read the danny wallace book instead

all this film has done is taken the concept from danny wallaces brilliant book and made a dumb, stupid and unfunny jim carrey comedy with no relation to the book whatsoever. I am shocked wallace agreed to this it is a utter rip off from the book and should have been a small british film with wallace playing himself and actually doing the things which are in the book sure it wont have been as mainstream or maybe as made as much money but it would have been better than this. If you havent read the... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by THE DALTONATOR at 20:49, 24 January 2009 | Report This Post


RE: Look up the word "kooky" in the dictionary

I was suprised how much I enjoyed this; stoopid Jim Carrey rather than thoughtful Jim Carrey but passed a couple of hours on a monday night pretty aimiably (especially the Potter-party!) ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Taizy at 18:09, 20 January 2009 | Report This Post


RE: Look up the word "kooky" in the dictionary

Best thing in the whole film was Norman who was basically playing his character from Conchords but was so funny!! Thought the film was ok apart from Jim Carrey looking old enough to play Zooey's father!! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by captain jack harknes at 22:46, 16 January 2009 | Report This Post


RE: Look up the word "kooky" in the dictionary

I feel badly for anyone who hasn't seen Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang...   I agree with the review of Yes Man, I was expecting it to be completely rubbish but I must say I was slightly suprised by it. I thought Rhys Darby was excellent, he really pulled this film out of the drain. A reasonably good performance from Carey, Zooey is amazingly cute and wasn't bad (acting-wise). Some very funny jokes, 3 out of 5 sounds about right, it could have been a 4 if a few things were smoothed over. &... More

Posted by Chips_Ahoy at 00:32, 14 January 2009 | Report This Post


I really enjoyed this film bar the oh so predictable plot. Some absolutely genius lines from this film. Highly recommended and an all round feel good comedy, even if does follow the linear plot of a rom-com. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by PureAinmhi at 00:31, 14 January 2009 | Report This Post


RE: Look up the word "kooky" in the dictionary

L: Bickle  L: Shaun_Cowley08 L: mickbanner I think youve taken his review a bit literally. havent seen yes man yet. Or Kiss Kiss Bang Bang apparentely... hat has that got to do with g t's a reference to a line in the film. ... More

Posted by Olaf at 18:17, 12 January 2009 | Report This Post


RE: Look up the word "kooky" in the dictionary

 L: Shaun_Cowley08 L: mickbanner I think youve taken his review a bit literally. havent seen yes man yet. Or Kiss Kiss Bang Bang apparentely... hat has that got to do with g ... More

Posted by Bickle at 18:14, 12 January 2009 | Report This Post


RE: Yes Man: Maybe not, Man

L: JoseJones I strained and made every effort to enjoy this movie. The effort was exhausting and frustrating. In the end what was on screen was the template of a romantic comedy. Sort of like all of the others of late, minus the gross outs and outlandishly shocking scenes, although the Tilly scene "came" close... Mr. Wilding's review above is spot on correct and more than fair. say this movie is harmless and charming at best, and boring and not very funny at it's worst.s next for Jim Carr... More

Posted by kasm at 14:27, 12 January 2009 | Report This Post


Has ANYONE in hollyood read the book?

Danny friggin' Wallace, how could you let this happen?? I absolutely agree, fans of the book avoid this! It took the basic idea of the book and made up a less funny, less touching story for it. WHHHY?? You already had the story, guys: well-written, absolutely hilarious and profound, even with a ready-made romance to stick in there too. It just seemed like a dumbed-down, flat-packed version, and I can't work out why they would do that. Credit the audience with some intelligence, please! Hav... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by kbartholomew at 23:29, 01 January 2009 | Report This Post


You decide if you want to say yes to this

The following review will probably be one of the shortest I'll ever write. The reason why is because in my reviews I try to tell you if you'll enjoy this, while giving an artistic critique of the film. At the end of the day, the answer all boils down to this: do you enjoy Jim Carrey? I give this film two stars because I never did and this film basically follows the same old Jim Carrey formula. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by djphilips at 11:04, 01 January 2009 | Report This Post


Yes Man

Yes Man is fun without being hilarious. Carrey fans will love to see their favourite comedian doing, arguably, what he does best - pulling a million faces while falling down a lot. This comedy works best when Carrey and Deschanel are on screen (they make a cute couple) . The plot, as with most high concept movies, runs out of steam two-thirds of the way through and the messy wrap-up feels a bitcontrived, blurring the movie's message, but i still enjoyed it ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by moviemaniac2 at 10:24, 31 December 2008 | Report This Post


a different beast

well,i loved the book.i love jim carrey in full gurning glory.so the result was a little at odds with the film being so different to the source material.carrey is on his own quite exceptional autopilot here,to put it simply,its much in the same vein of agreeable,watchable comedies as bruce almighty.Good first thirty minutes too ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by otacons folly at 15:19, 30 December 2008 | Report This Post


RE: Fans f the book avoid this

L: wirelessjones Had I never read Danny Wallace's hilariously funny and touching book about the amazing transformation his life undertook after a strange man on a bus told him to start saying yes more, I would have thought this a fairly decent if rather predictable rom-com. However as someone who loved the book and was very excited to hear Hollywood had woken up to the genius that is Mr Wallace, I was hugely dissapointed that there wasn't a single element from the book included here, ... More

Posted by Wilbert at 13:32, 30 December 2008 | Report This Post


Yes Man: Maybe not, Man

I strained and made every effort to enjoy this movie. The effort was exhausting and frustrating. In the end what was on screen was the template of a romantic comedy. Sort of like all of the others of late, minus the gross outs and outlandishly shocking scenes, although the Tilly scene "came" close... Mr. Wilding's review above is spot on correct and more than fair. I would say this movie is harmless and charming at best, and boring and not very funny at it's worst. What is next f... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by JoseJones at 16:21, 23 December 2008 | Report This Post


Fans f the book avoid this

Had I never read Danny Wallace's hilariously funny and touching book about the amazing transformation his life undertook after a strange man on a bus told him to start saying yes more, I would have thought this a fairly decent if rather predictable rom-com. However as someone who loved the book and was very excited to hear Hollywood had woken up to the genius that is Mr Wallace, I was hugely dissapointed that there wasn't a single element from the book included here, not even one litle moment t... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by wirelessjones at 11:19, 23 December 2008 | Report This Post


Fans f the book avoid this

Had I never read Danny Wallace's hilariously funny and touching book about the amazing transformation his life undertook after a strange man on a bus told him to start saying yes more, I would have thought this a fairly decent if rather predictable rom-com. However as someone who loved the book and was very excited to hear Hollywood had woken up to the genius that is Mr Wallace, I was hugely dissapointed that there wasn't a single element from the book included here, not even one litle moment t... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by wirelessjones at 11:19, 23 December 2008 | Report This Post


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