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Yes Man (7/10)

by Tony Medley

There are people, lots of them, whose first instinct is to say “no” to any proposal. These people miss out on much of the fun of life. In this film, Karl Allen (Jim Carrey), is one of those people. His friends know it and entice him to visit a lecture by Terrence Bundley (Terrence Stamp). Bundley has written a book entitled “Say Yes,” and the thrust of his teaching is that his followers should say yes to everything.

Karl decides to go along and makes a commitment to Terrence that he will say yes to anything that is proposed.

This results in some comedic adventures, not as stupid as one might imagine, and leads Karl to meet the beautiful free spirit, Allison (Zooey Deschanel). Karl falls for her and from there on, Karl’s life spins out of control as he continues to say yes to anything that’s proposed to him.

Jim Carrey has built a career out of playing characters so over the top that they not only not believable, they are idiotic. So I wasn’t looking forward to this at all. Much to my surprise and enjoyment, however, in this film, Carrey plays it relatively straight. This is a good, entertaining romantic comedy with a good message.

I wasn’t expecting much here because in addition to Carrey being the star, it is directed by Peyton Reed, who has to accept responsibility for the vile and vapid “Down With Love,” which was supposed to be a parody of the old Doris Day-Rock Hudson films. Instead it was not funny and had a deplorable charade of oral sex.

But Reed acquits himself for that disaster himself here. Not only does Carrey give a good performance, Deschanel is beautiful and desirable and Stamp captures the personality and mode of operation the self-help guru exactly.

However, Reed is still obsessed with oral sex. He has a deplorable scene in which Karl receives oral sex from an octogenarian woman. Because of that scene, I wouldn’t recommend this for children. Reed should grow up and forget about such juvenile scenes.

This is yet another current film that really surprised me. Maybe things are turning up in the film business.