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Movie Review

Yes Man a.k.a. “Bay evet”

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for crude sexual humor, language and brief nudity.

Reviewed by: Thaisha Geiger

Very Offensive
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults, Teens
1 hr. 44 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
December 19, 2008 (wide—3,400 theaters)
DVD: April 7, 2009
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures / Village Roadshow Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures / Village Roadshow Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures / Village Roadshow Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures / Village Roadshow Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures / Village Roadshow Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures / Village Roadshow Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures / Village Roadshow Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures / Village Roadshow Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures / Village Roadshow Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures / Village Roadshow Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures / Village Roadshow Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures / Village Roadshow Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures / Village Roadshow Pictures
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Christian living

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How can I decide whether a particular activity—such as smoking, gambling, etc.—is wrong? Answer


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Should I save sex for marriage? Answer

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Featuring: Zooey Deschanel—“Elf,” “Bridge to Terabithia,” “The Happening,” “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford,” “The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy”

Jim Carrey—“Bruce Almighty,” “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” “The Number 23,” “Fun with Dick and Jane,” “Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events,” “The Majestic”

Sasha Alexander
Terence Stamp
Bradley Cooper
more »
Director: Peyton Reed—“The Break-Up,” “Down with Love,” “Bring It On”
Producer: Jim Carrey, Tiffany Daniel, Marty P. Ewing, Linda Fields, Katterli Frauenfelder, David Heyman, Danny Wallace, Richard D. Zanuck
Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures / Village Roadshow Pictures

“One word can change everything.”

Jim Carrey returns to the big screen as a depressed, withdrawn bank employee named Carl Allen. After his wife left him a few years before, Carl has now seeped himself into a reclusive world of DVD rentals and excuses. His favorite word is “no” whenever he is offered invitations or new friendships.

After a random encounter with an old acquaintance, he is given a brochure to a new wave of living named “YES!” Carl reluctantly goes to the conference where his “no” attitude immediately draws the attention of Terrence Bundley, the creator of the new movement. The man makes Carl create a covenant with himself to say yes to whatever opportunities come his way.

As with any comedy, Carl finds himself in odd predicaments that require him to say yes. After giving a homeless man a ride to a dark park and giving him all of his money, Carl finds himself stranded until a free-spirited gal (Zooey Deschanel) gives him a ride back to his car and a random kiss. This offers Carl a positive glimpse into a possible future where saying “yes” to everything might not be so bad.

“Yes Man” could have been so much more, but it sadly falls short. Most of jokes are forced, and many of the funny ones are too crude for Christians to freely laugh. I could not help but be reminded of Carrey’s almost-decade earlier success with “Liar, Liar.” While the latter movie had its crudeness, a moral was obvious in how lying can destroy your life, and the truth can and shall set you free.

However, this film preaches a conflicting message. In the beginning, it says that saying yes to everything only brings good results. Whenever Carl would say no, seemingly bad consequences would result, convincing him to change his answer to yes. By the end of the movie, the message still remains unclear by now saying that you do not have to say yes to everything.

Offensive Content

Without a doubt, this movie should have been rated “R.” Judging by this latest stretch of a rating, the old PG-13 of the past is long gone. The world seems to think that it is ok for 13 year olds to hear numerous profanities, witness salt being snorted, and worst of all, to see an elderly woman offering Carl a “sexual release.”

The sexual content in the film is quite heavy. After helping his elderly female neighbor, she ponders on how to repay him. She offers Carl oral sex. Not wanting to get into too much detail, the camera zooms in on her taking off her dentures, as Carl remarks on her ability and verbally encourages her. Later in the film, the same lady shows up. Recognizing her, Carl’s friend takes extra shots, hoping she will repeat the same action. Living together before marriage is also depicted as normal.

The Lord’s name is profaned about 15 times. At least 20 more profanities are included within the dialogue, including 3 GDs and 3 “f” words. The word “d__k” is also used at least 3 times. Carl browses through different Web sites and is asked if he would like to “enlarge his penis.” A comment of touching genitals is made, and a comment about a man’s package looking bigger in certain pants. Partying with his friends, Carl takes many shots, snorts salt, and then randomly kisses a girl. He then fights her boyfriend in a long drawn-out, drunken scene.

Partial nudity is shown in two scenes. In the first scene, Carl is riding a motorcycle in his hospital gown. As it flutters in the wind, one can see his entire derriere. Near the end of the film, the entire “YES!” followers willingly gave their clothes away and are now naked. Women are shown covering their breasts and several men’s backsides are zoomed in on.

Some of the false teachings were “yes always leads to something good” and to “say yes no matter what the opportunity.” Obviously these statements are absurd, and hopefully no one thinks that a literal following is a positive thing. For example, some might stop if asked to rob a bank or murder someone. After some “yes” answers backfired, Carl realized how he was now stuck with the covenant he had made with himself. King Solomon wisely wrote, “it is a trap to dedicate something rashly and only later consider one’s vow” (Proverbs 20:25).

I encourage anyone who reads this review to read the book of Hebrews that explains in great detail the sacrifice Jesus made for mankind to fulfill God’s covenant. Awesomely, it was not a rash or quick covenant. On the contrary, God knew before the creation of the world that he would establish this promise of salvation to us. In Ephesians 1, it reads: “For he chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love, He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ.”

I urge Christians to skip this filthy, deceptive movie. The only positive theme I could pull out in this rather bland comedy was to stay open to opportunities. It is fun to leave room for some spontaneity. Carl and Allison went on a weekend getaway merely showing up at the airport and randomly buying a ticket on the next available flight. The idea seems fun, as long as God remains the main pilot.

Violence: Moderate / Profanity: Moderate / Sex/Nudity: Heavy

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive—This is a very good movie. It has some offensive material, but it is undeniably hilarious. Also, I think that “Yes Man” has a good message. It completely overexaggerates the idea of being more open to new things, but that was kind of the point. …
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Danny, age 18 (USA)
Neutral—I am a Jim Carrey fan… I enjoyed his previous films. This was a disappointment for me. Their were some very funny moments, mostly involving his boss from the bank, but the audience I attended with laughed only a few times. We sat behind 2 families with younger children, and we were very embarrassed during some of the scenes, particularly those involving the elderly neighbor. I really wish they had left those out; they really didn't add to the movie at all and made it very uncomfortable. I would never take any kids under 16 to see this one, for that reason. Hopefully, Jim Carry can get back to the type of humor he had in his earlier movies, in the future.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 2½
—Louis, age 47 (USA)
Neutral—This movie was so so. It wasn't really good, yet it wasn't bad either. Yes, you did have to deal with a couple offensive moments, like the oral sex Jim Carrey was having with the old lady. To me, that was just plain inappropriate and unnecessary. However, the rest of the movie wasn't too bad. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone under the age of 16, due to the oral sex scene that was shown in the movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Alex, age 18 (USA)
Neutral—This movie was not that bad, but I was still expecting more from Jim Carrey. …for a Hollywood comedy movie, there are worse than this one, out there. The great theme of being open for new opportunities was good to think about… how many situations God brings around our way and we disregard them completely, and God brings them for our own good for his glory to show in our life. YES, it's, also, a step of faith when someone needs our help and we are not ready for it; we are not prepared and now we have to step out. My comments and review are based on the fact that this is not a Christian movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—David April, age 34 (Canada)
Negative—This movie is really not worth seeing. I am a Jim Carrey fan and enjoy his talents. But the plot has so many objectionable themes, that what little real humor there is, is overshadowed by the unseemly elements. From a Christian point of view, this movie is not worth the entrance fee.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3½
Halyna Barannik, age 62 (USA)
Negative—This movie was an epic disappointment. I liked Jim Carrey in “Liar, Liar” and “Bruce Almighty” (and “The Majestic”). This movie had such great potential. I entered the theater with such high hopes. There are some movies where you can endure some of the bad scenes for some of the funny scenes—this is not one of those films. The movie was completely ruined by the oral sex scene. The scene was just repugnant. That scene is one that I am still trying to forget. What an awful image to put in someone’s head. It was not funny in any way, and should have never been filmed (or it should have ended up on the cutting room floor). The scene was completely unnecessary—and completely disgusting.

As we were leaving the theatre there was a rather prominent swear word in the song for the closing credits, seemingly just to punctuate the disappointment. I could go on and on, but you get the point.

I wish they would have hired Tom Shadyac to direct “Yes Man.” Jim Carrey and Tom Shadyac’s collaboration was great in “Liar Liar” and “Bruce Almighty.” They had a basic idea for Jim Carrey’s dialog in his scenes in those movies, and improvised the rest, with great results. The failure in this movie really was in the writing, editing, and the directing. Jim Carrey was out there doing his thing, and the movie had a great cast, but there was definitely something missing.

If I could take back going to go see this movie—I would. Go rent “Liar, Liar” or “Bruce Almighty.” “Yes Man” is not even worth a rental.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—David Hartley, age 37 (USA)
Negative—This could have a reasonably entertaining, original and humorous movie except for one completely unnecessary and disgusting scene. There is a point where Jim Carrey says “yes” to an elderly lady who wants to perform oral sex on him. So, that’s what they do. Even in an “R” rated film this would be offensive—it makes the whole PG-13 rating laughable. The scene adds nothing to the story. Surely the writers could have created something more original and less offensive. Too bad they didn't, because it ruins the film.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Todd Adams, age 41 (Canada)
Negative—Thirteen family members (home for Christmas) went to the movies together. My oldest daughter, age 37, and I watched “Yes Man” while the other 11 made other selections. The oral sex scene detracted significantly from the movie. The scene should have been deleted. We felt like puking and were on the verge of walking out. WWJD? He would have known better than to have gotten trapped in this uncomfortable situation!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Hoosier Daddy, age 60+ (USA)
Negative—My first mistake was going to see this movie, based on the advice of one I knew better than to trust. My second mistake was watching it all the way through. What a waste of time! The language was detestable, including some blasphemous statements. There were constant visual and verbal references to sexual immorality.

The romance component of the two main characters, while suggesting that living together was a possibility, never included any discussion of marriage. And the lowest of the low, as others have stated, was an oral sex scene for which the only purpose I surmise was to demonstrate the shameless immorality of the individuals involved in the production of this film.

Even if you're a fan of Jim Carrey, his brand of humor will be unable to distract you from the immensely shameful indecency and distasteful flavor of this movie. In my opinion, this was a monumental failure for all involved. When the credits were rolling, I had two thoughts: I wish I could roll back time and go do something else, and why didn't I walk out of this movie?
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Bryan E, age 38 (USA)
Negative—“Yes Man,” hmm. I would not recommend it to any new christians, or even in-fact a christian, at all. “Yes Man” had New Age Cult themes in it, using the whole “Yes” conference and having a covenant. The whole thing of all the sexual themes, are not good at all and absolutely wrong. The only thing that was good in the whole movie, would be that you should keep yourself open to opportunities, especially opportunities that a God-Given.

I tell you what was really awesome, is that after I watched “Yes Man,” I walked into the shops, and they were playing the song “Open the Eyes of My heart Lord” PTL! God Bless you all
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Nathan Hurst, age 18 (Australia)
Negative—I took my son to see this movie knowing Jim Carrey is quite funny. We watched about a half hour of this movie and both he and I were shocked by the suggestiveness of sex, immoral behaviour, language. I was VERY upset over the scene with Jim and the older woman… it was beyond disguisting to me. I felt physically ill over it and my son who is 13 was quite upset over the scene. I'm thankful for his sensitivity in the spirit.

We did complain about the movies content and recieved a refund. After this movie… I more than likely will not see another movie that he is in.

I would encourage believers and non alike that this tears away the very foundation of a family, and encourages worldy “passions” that serve ONLY to break morality within a family, encourage self fulfillment, and all of this leaves you feeling guilty, unfulfilled and alone. I can't say how horrid this movie truely was… I'm GRATEFUL we LEFT before seeing anything else.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: ½
—A.p., age 43 (USA)
Comments from young people
Negative—I saw this movie with some friends of mine at a local theater. We thought it'd be an entertaining, funny film. After it ended though, we all agreed it was bad. The movie really wasn't all that funny. But the big thing was the scene with the old lady. It was absolutely gross and simply unnecessary. It's appalling to believe that filmmakers think that things like this need to be in movies. The end scene surprised us all, too. It just made us think, “Why?” I would advise spending your money elsewhere.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Danny, age 16 (USA)
Neutral—I went into this movie with high expectations, but came out disappointed. This film had all the potential to be a great movie, with a good message, however it fell short. The movie begins with Carl (Jim Carrey,) a man who does not enjoy his life—going through the same old routine day after day. He is dead-set on saying “no” and avoids every opportunity to make social contact with anyone. He even rejects his “friends.” Eventually his best friend gets tired with Carl's attitude and indifference. We learn that Carl is secluded, because his wife divorced him. Carl does not stop his anti-social way of life until a random encounter with a man who only says “yes.” He tells Carl that because he says “yes” to everything, he feels alive. He tells Carl a seminar on saying “yes” made him what he is—and urges Carl to go. Carl stays reluctant, but resolves to attend a seminar.

After the seminar Carl, with some prodding, starts to say “yes” to everything. Carl's life improves by saying yes to anything he is offered. He finds himself a girlfriend, reconnects with is friends, and becomes happier.

Sadly, there was a lot of content in the movie that was not needed and offensive. Carl trains himself to say yes in order to improve his life, rather than doing it because he thinks it's a correct life decision. To everything which Carl says “yes” is beneficial to him later. God's name was definitely not respected in the movie along with other cuss words. Carl finds himself in odd situations that are definitely less than wholesome, because of his new outlook on life, and the film earns its PG-13 rating.

The comedy was good, overall, with points that were offensive to Christians. In the end, the movie becomes slightly better as Carl's carefree attitude catches up with him. Carl's girlfriend leaves him, because she feels Carl has lied to her. This seems to be one of the few things Carl agrees to because he wants to, not solely for the sake of saying “yes.” Chasing after what he thinks life is worth living for, Carl attempts to get his girlfriend back, but she only avoids him. Later, Carl is tempted to “stay the night” at the apartment of his ex-wife. However, by now, Carl has figured out that only saying “yes” hurts him as much as it has benefited him. He resists the temptation and leaves before anything progresses. In the end, he shows his girlfriend he cares for her, but wants to keep their relationship slow. It ends on this note leaving the viewers with a few loose ends and a somewhat unclear message.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Bryce Rosenquist, age 16
Positive—Upon viewing “Yes Man,” I felt entertained, but not to Jim Carey's full potential. This movie was rather obscene, but fellow Christians who can get over the partial nudity, along with some minor language, would actually find this movie to be entertaining. The main lesson taught in the movie was “to learn when to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’.” Although this is a tough concept to grasp, the movie does not give the message that “saying ‘yes’ will always lead to something good” as that is a misunderstanding of the protagonist. The lesson of “saying ‘yes’ to everything will lead to something good” is merely to grasp the attention of people attending the seminar, which then later becomes “learn when to say ‘yes’ and ‘no’.”
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Jacob Vercelli, age 15 (USA)
Positive—While some may say “there are some offensive scenes in this movie.” They are right, there are, but the plot is incredible. If you're Christian or not, you can walk away from this movie, with the thought to be more open to things that come your way. Now, if you're real in your faith with Jesus Christ, you won't be moved, so the thing that many are saying about how it is offensive, in some parts Yes, like I said before. But it has a great story line, and an even better message. …While this videos is not the best Christian inspirational, which few movies can claim to be, it is a must see.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Mason Martino, age 16 (USA)
Comments from non-viewers
Negative—I have not seen this movie. I would like to thank the reviewer for his honest and thoughtful comments regarding it. As a follower of Jesus I want to be a good steward of my money, time, and soul. I was interested in seeing the movie, and now know that it is not something that Jesus would want me to do. For those who are defending the watching of this movie for Christians, I would warn you to take Scripture seriously and be careful of the things that you allow into your mind.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Pastor Ron, age 42 (USA)