Movie Night: Yes Man (2008)

We love Jim Carrey as Joe Biden on SNL amongst other things so it was only right to watch a Jim Carrey film for Monday movie night. The comedy movie Yes Man starring Jim Carrey and Zooey Deschanel was released December 17, 2008. It was directed by Peyton Reed and the screen play by Jarrad Paul, Nicholas Stroller, and Andrew Mogel. The film is loosely based on the memoir of the same title by Danny Wallace, who makes a cameo appearance in the film.

If you’ve never seen Yes Man, to sum up the plot for you it is about a man named Carl who is a bank loan officer. He always says no to everything and everyone including his friends Peter (Bradley Cooper) and Rooney (Danny Masterson) because he isn’t happy. Why isn’t he happy? Well, Carl is still heartbroken over his divorce with his ex wife Stephanie (Molly Sims). He then comes across an old colleague, Nick (John Michael Higgins) who’s living his life to the fullest and invites Carl to a motivational “Yes!” seminar where they are encouraged to seize every opportunity to “Yes” to life. Carl attends and meets an inspirational guru Terrence (Terence Stamp) who pressures him into making a promise to say yes to everything. So, he does. Carl says yes to literally everything.

Carl and the man attempting suicide (Luis Guzman) singing “Jumper” by Third Eye Blind

We see him learn Korean, learn how to play the guitar, learn how to fly a plane, and in the process learn how to let go and fall in love again. We see just how saying yes to everything makes Carl’s life better. He was able to get a promotion at work, become friends with his boss Norman (Rhys Darby), renew his friendship with Peter and Rooney, help Peter’s fiancee Lucy (Sasha Alexander) with the wedding planning, save some one from committing suicide by playing the guitar and singing “Jumper” by Third Eye Blind, and of course find love again. Every good movie has a good love story in the mist of the message. This movie is no different. Carl falls in love with a quirky adventurous woman named Allison (Zooey Deschanel) who is the lead singer in a local band and a jogging photography instructor. Allison gives Carl a new outlook on life and even more reason to say yes. But, saying yes isn’t all good. Troubles eventually come when he starts saying yes to things he really doesn’t want to say yes to like moving in with his new girlfriend Allison.

Aliison (Zooey Deschanel) with her band Munchausen by Proxy.

When he and Allison go on a spontaneous trip to Lincoln, Nebraska Carl gets randomly detained and interrogated by the FBI, because of his yes to everything they think he’s a terrorist. This is when Allison finds out his covenant to saying yes and breaks up with him. This leads Carl to saying no to sex with his ex-wife Stephanie when she calls him to console her after breaking up with her boyfriend. Bad things start happening which he thinks is all because he decided to end his covenant. He goes to the convention center to find Terrance and hides in the back of his car which causes a car accident so bad they end up in the hospital. That’s when Terrance tells Carl the covenant isn’t real and Carl understands the point of saying yes wasn’t to say yes to everything but simply to open up his mind to opportunities. When he finds this out he jumps out of the hospital bed and rushes to confess his love to Allison at her photography class, butt out and all on a motorcycle. They kiss.

The end.

Fun facts about the making of Yes Man:

1. Jim Carrey did his own stunt for the bungee jumping scene. He told the stunt double he intended doing it in one take.

2. In the scene where Carl turns around to a waitress and falls flat on his back, Carrey did the stunt wrong and broke 3 ribs.

3. Carrey actually mastered basic Korean for a scene. The same process for learning Korean was taken for the guitar scenes but Carrey said playing the guitar isn’t for him.

Allison (Zooey Deschanel), Carl (Jim Carrey), and Norman (Rhys Darby)

Yes Man is now streaming on Netflix.


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