You know, I can't really say I expected too terribly much out of Yes Man. After all, it is a Jim Carrey comedy, and I haven't really, truly enjoyed one of those in a long while. I think Carrey's a great actor and love his indie work and several of his more serious films. But his comedies always seem to aim far lower than I think Carrey is capable. Which is why I was pleasantly surprised by this, his latest release. Of course, that probably has a lot to do with the fact that, blinded by Jim Carrey's name on the picture, I hadn't realized it was directed by Peyton Reed (Down With Love, Bring it On, The Break-Up). Reed is fantastic at taking risky concepts and over-exposed actors and making them cool again. And that's exactly what he does here.
For the most part, Yes Man is a very traditional romantic comedy. It's the story of a guy who has said no to pretty much everything his whole life and is miserable. When he's challenged to say yes to every opportunity, he gives it a shot. And meets Zooey Deschanel. And once you've, you know, gotten in with Zooey Deschanel, why on earth would you stop saying yes? But as the two begin to get closer, the real question sets in. Is this new guy the real guy -- or will he be revealed as a phony? The end result is an adorable, cute, occasionally very funny romp about a guy discovering life for the first time and finding the rewards that come from it. It is all sorts of zany at times, but is grounded enough to be warm and cuddly and very deserving of a watch on DVD.
The special features are a mixed bag, however. The bulk of the features are your standard, by-the-numbers behind-the-scenes "moments with the stars" kind of things. There's a gag reel and a whole series of bits in which Carrey is goofing around between setups. Then of course there's a featurette on Carrey and all the stunts he did ... as he goofs around between takes. But once you've gotten through that, there's a cool small featurette on the "band" in the movie: Munchausen by Proxy -- which is fronted by Deschanel. After the interviews and "hype" in a well-produced Future Sounds episode, you can watch all five performances of Munchausen by Proxy, each song beginning to end. They shot the entire concert, and you can kick back and watch it in all its weird glory -- complete with various reaction shots from Carrey (who occasionally even sings along off stage).
All in all, Yes Man is a pretty solid afternoon's entertainment, best enjoyed cuddled up with a loved one. It's a cute, sweet, adorable little film that never sinks low enough to insult your intelligence but isn't going to knock you out of your chair. It has a great heart and will fit in nicely as a double feature with any of Reed's other films (although I'd probably recommend Down With Love, personally.)