For those of you craving Jim Carrey in all his glorious wackiness from yesteryear, your fix has arrived in the form of Yes Man. Or has it? On closer inspection, it appears to have a humdrum seen-it-before storyline which includes an inconceivable romance with a girl half his age. On second thought, this is probably not the movie you’ve been waiting for.
That of course, is not to say there aren’t laughs to be had — they’re just not nearly as hearty or robust as they were in the past. It’s not for a lack of Carrey trying either. We get quite of few of his mainstays like:
- Every facial deformity known to man
- All the aping for the camera that is humanly possible
- Over emphasization of words so the hard of hearing can hear
It’s just that these antics feel so, for lack of better word, dated. That’s right, I said it — watching him scotch tape his face like a mummy and flail about after a prat fall was so much more funnier in 1994 when he rekindled that brand of physical humor (not seen since Jerry Lewis) in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. More importantly, it didn’t look like he was having much fun doing it either.
This may have something to do with the notion that Yes Man is awfully close to being a reworked version of Liar Liar. Instead of not being able to tell a lie however, this time around he can’t say the word “no” to anyone — no matter how asinine their request is. As you can guess, he finds himself in some very awkward situations, especially since he is a loan officer and his friends Peter (Bradley Cooper) and Rooney (Danny Masterson) feel compelled to take complete advantage of him.
Some of the jokes are hits and some are misses. Watching him receive oral sex from an elderly neighbor (even though a similar theme was introduced in Kingpin) — funny. Watching him ride a motorcycle with an open hospital gown through the streets of Los Angeles like Evel Knievel — not so funny. There also a lot of interludes that were nothing more than space filler — was the à¼ber-dorky, Harry Potter loving bank manager really a necessity? Why the suicide, song singing scene?
Also, as much as I like Zooey Deschanel, I just couldn’t fathom her as Carrey’s love interest. To say there was no believable chemistry between the two of them would just be stating the blatantly obvious. I say this even though she is cast perfectly as the cute, retro-y lead singer of a bizarre costume band.
So even though I applaud Jim Carrey for getting back to what made him a household name, he should have resoundly said “no” to Yes Man. And since the movie is basically a retread and doesn’t have any real laugh out loud scenes, sadly, you should say “no” too.