Combustible Celluloid
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With: Jim Carrey, Zooey Deschanel, Bradley Cooper, John Michael Higgins, Rhys Darby, Danny Masterson, Fionnula Flanagan, Terence Stamp, Sasha Alexander, Molly Sims, Brent Briscoe, Rocky Carroll, John Cothran Jr., Spencer Garrett, Sean O'Bryan
Written by: Nicholas Stoller, Jarrad Paul, Andrew Mogel, based on the book by Danny Wallace
Directed by: Peyton Reed
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for crude sexual humor, language and brief nudity
Running Time: 104
Date: 12/09/2008

Yes Man (2008)

3 Stars (out of 4)


By Jeffrey M. Anderson

For his fourth feature film, Peyton Reed (Down with Love, The Break Up) takes on a fun, but not exactly brilliant screenplay and turns in a comedy funny enough to while away a couple of pleasant hours this holiday season. Jim Carrey stars as Carl, a divorced loan officer who has given up on life, spending his evenings sulking and watching bad movies (like 300). A buddy convinces him to attend a seminar, led by guru Terrence Bundley (Terence Stamp), which requires him to respond to every opportunity with a resounding "yes." He finds that if he says "no," the universe doubles back on him and gives him trouble. This setup, of course, leads to some quick, throwaway jokes and a few other running gags, and it also introduces him to the adorable, life-loving Allison (Zooey Deschanel). I knew the other shoe would drop at some point near the third act, but I was unable to see just how, and the movie surprised me. Carrey looks a bit thin and tired here, but he's just as funny as always, and Deschanel makes a perfect match for him, bringing her unique brand of relaxed honesty to the screen and providing a nice calming effect. Reed doesn't give the film as much of a clear-eyed visual style as he did his last films, but he at least moves it along quickly (though some viewers will be annoyed by the many product placements). A roster of familiar comic faces (John Michael Higgins, Bradley Cooper, etc.) provide support.

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