|Written by Ivan Radford|
|Friday, 26 December 2008 00:00|
Director: Peyton Reed“Say it a million times. Say it a million more times. And the word you will have said two million times is ‘yes’” – Terrence Stamp in full ham mode as Terrence Bundling, head of a cult-like self-help movement, whose members say “YES!” to every opportunity that comes their way. Into this way of life walks no-man Carl (Carrey), whose routine existence is about to be blitzed together with a potent dose of positivity.
Answering in the affirmative to all manner of questions, Carl’s life is transformed; he gets promoted at work (after approving lots of loans to people who can’t afford to pay them back – an unintentional touch of irony), learns to speak Korean, and even gets off with the kooky, all-singing, all-jogging Allison (Deschanel). She’s hot.
And so goes the by-the-numbers adaptation of Danny Wallace’s 2005 book. And for adaptation read ‘loosely takes the premise and runs with it to American soil’. Building up to a clunkingly constructed plot point, everything Carl has soon falls to pieces. And, of course, gets put back together again in no time - same old, same old. The talented cast are the people who carry this lazily scripted effort across the finish: Zooey somehow makes her formulaic love interest utterly adorable, Carrey’s comic timing is still spot-on (from saving a suicidal man through the medium of song to falling backwards over cars), and Rhys Darby (Flight of the Concords) practically steals the show as Carl’s geeky co-worker, Norm. If you need a Darby fix, this is worth a hit just for him.
Perhaps nowt to shout about, this routine take on a British idea raises several hard laughs. Yes Man? More of a maybe.