Reviewed by: Thaisha Geiger
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|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Jim Carrey returns to the big screen as a depressed, withdrawn bank employee named Carl Allen.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.
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