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YES MAN, 2008
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YES MAN
Movie Review
Directed by Peyton Reed
Starring: Jim Carrey, Zoe Deschanel, Bradley Cooper, Danny Masterson, Molly Sims, Terrence Stamp, Sasha Alexander, John Michael Higgins
Review by Matthew Toffolo



SYNOPSIS:

A guy challenges himself to say "yes" to everything for an entire year.

REVIEW:

First off, I do have to say that there are a lot of good things about Yes Man. It's charming, funny and it pulls off all the comedic and emotional beats a film like this is suppose to do. Jim Carrey was born to play these types of role as he has the best facial expressions since, well probably since Charlie Chaplin. And Zooey Deschanel? She's just a fearless performer who is magic on screen. An actress I'm always on the lookout for to see what she's going to do next.

But let's all admit that Yes Man is what I like to call a gadget film. Gadget films are movies that have a what if scenario and the movie is build around just that concept. I call them gadget films because gadgets either work or they don't work, there is nothing in between. Yes Man works. It's not a bad film. But it's a movie that we will all forget about 6 weeks from now and even forget what the title was. We'll be asking our spouse or friend what that Jim Carrey movie was we saw way back when and then rack our brain for the title of it. Then we'll have to get online to get the answer because we need to know before we can do anything else. It's just one of those films.

Example #1 was before I even saw the film. I walked up to the sponsor's booth to get the pre-screening ticket of Yes Man only to ask for the Liar Liar ticket. They told me they weren't doing Liar Liar so I walked away confused as I looked for another booth. Then 15 seconds later I realized that I was seeing Yes Man and Liar Liar was another one of those Jim Carrey concept films.

So I can easily say go see Yes Man it if you want to be entertained. It's also a solid movie to go to if you're on a date because it's a harmless film without an uncomfortable moment.

But I did notice two things in Yes Man that really bothered me.

#1 - The Blatant Product Placement

A Hollywood director's main job these days is to try to figure out how to build the film's sponsor's product into the storyline of the film without being too obvious. After all, there is a lot of money to be made in the product placement field. But enough is enough.

Jim Carrey's character is sitting at his office desk looking confused to set up a new scene. That's the shot! But the director starts the scene of a closeup shot of a DELL computer as it dollies on the trademark label for about 5 seconds before he moves to Jim Carrey's closeup to begin the scene. How showing a DELL computer logo is important to that scene is anybody's guess.

Then another scene in the final act has a character riding a bike down a street in what is suppose to be one of those climatic moments in the film. But of course we need a medium shot of a Purolator truck for awhile so they can subconsciously tell us to use them over FEDEX in our next delivery.

There are 9 more examples of this in Yes Man. It's obnoxious and it needs to stop. Or does it?

#2 - The Age Difference between the two romantic leads and how this is never talked about

Jim Carrey and Zooey Deschanel were born on the same day, January 17th. Carrey was born in 1962 and Deschanel 1980. There is an 18 year age difference and these two are the romantic leads of Yes Man.

Eighteen years is a big difference. Realistically Carrey could easily be Zooey's father.

I am 31 and it would be a gigantic story if I dated a woman who was 49. And if me dating a 49 year old woman was part of a film, it would be the main focus on the film. The gadget concept of the film perhaps.

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If two people love each other and are of adult age, I don't really care if there is a big age difference between the two. It's not really a big deal.

But I have two problems with Hollywood: #1 - There is obviously a double-standard happening here and it's been going on since the invention of film. and #2 - In the real world, a big age difference like that would be talked about between the two people. But in Hollywood it seems like it's the norm and if a leading man isn't dating a younger woman, then that would be abnormal.

This really isn't a great influence for our culture. And I do find it very creepy. There's a lot of male fantasies being acted out in films and this needs to stop.

So go see Yes Man and tell me what you think.

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