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Saturday, January 03, 2009

Review: Beldar & kids see Jim Carrey's "Yes Man"

My oldest daughter, Sarah, was working today, but I took my sons Kevin and Adam and my younger daughter Molly to a Saturday afternoon movie matinée. None of the choices were terribly appealing, but they opted to take a chance on Jim Carrey's latest comedy, "Yes Man." My kids liked it quite a bit better than I did — Molly and Kevin gave it four stars on a zero-to-five scale, and Adam gave it three, but I would only give it one.

I am certain that at some point during the earliest planning for this movie, someone made the inevitable observation that "Gee, this script reminds me a whole lot of Jim Carrey's hit from just over a decade ago, 'Liar Liar.'" And that observation ought to have triggered some serious second-thinking and re-writing. But it didn't. The result is a film that's completely predictable, from the first frames to the closing credits — a film that lacks even the dramatic arc of a sleazy lawyer's eventual redemption. Other one-word descriptions that I'd consider apt include stale, boring, tedious, and trite.

My kids and I did find leading lady Zoey Deschanel appealing and funny, and according to imdb.com, she and Carrey actually share the same birthday — January 17th. The problem is that hers was in 1980, making her a still very young-looking 28, whereas his was in 1962 (and he looks it). They are simply not a credible couple. Indeed, Carrey reminds me more and more of Jerry Lewis at the same stage of his career, struggling in an ever less successful, ever more painful effort to simulate youth through a goofy, zaney affect. (Maybe the reason my kids found this less sad than I did was that they haven't got a clue who Jerry Lewis is.)

Indeed, this movie even manages to make super-model Molly Sims, in a too-brief supporting role as Carrey's equally improbable ex-wife, look comparatively unglamorous. Her presence in the movie, however, gives me more than enough of a fair-use excuse to republish this fabulous photo of Ms. Sims, not from "Yes Man" but from the 2004 Sports Illustrated swimsuit model collection, just to illuminate — as a matter of public interest and, umm, intellectual artistic commentary — the potential squandered by Warner Bros.

Super-model Molly Sims, as better appreciated by Sports Illustrated in 2004

And on that note, and with that visual, I'll wish you all a Happy New Year!

Posted by Beldar at 09:46 PM in Family, Film/TV/Stage | Permalink


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(1) Michael J. Myers made the following comment | Jan 4, 2009 10:35:37 AM | Permalink

I've not seen the movie; but I've seen the photo you posted; and it does appear that there's a lot of talent that could be wasted there!

(2) A.W. made the following comment | Jan 5, 2009 9:23:35 AM | Permalink

Okay, let me ask a pointed question counselor...

Did you find the movie funny or not?

Because I can watch a really dumb, but funny movie and come out glad to have seen it. I mean think Ace Ventura. Terrible movie. But it made me laugh more often than not, so it gets a thumbs up from me.

Just askin', although I am probably going to save this for a rental in any case.

(3) Beldar made the following comment | Jan 5, 2009 11:25:05 AM | Permalink

In a theater, with the crowd effect promoting shared laughter, I laughed more than I would have if I'd been watching the same thing at home on TV. I've seen "Liar, Liar" a couple of times already, and still would probably find a few laughs in it were I to watch it again; and so with many of the jokes in this movie, which were derivative of that one. So yes, I laughed.

But I also winced, a lot, at jokes that didn't draw a laugh. Being a Jim Carrey movie, there's an intended joke at least every ten seconds. So there were an awful lot of stinkers — hence the one-star rating from me. (If I gave half-stars, I'd give it 1-1/2, maybe.)

(4) Gregory Koster made the following comment | Jan 5, 2009 3:31:20 PM | Permalink

Dear Mr. Dyer: Jim Carrey? Who is he? I must confess to being behind the times as I've been paying attention to the soon to be opening circus in Washington. This promises to be the gaudiest show in years. Not since US Grant have the prospects for belly laughs been so prominent. To be sure, the humor will be dark, with an underlay of tears in each snort, but given that there's precious little the GOP or conservatives can do about it, why not make a virtue of enjoyment? Bring on the popcorn as we watch:

a) the collapse of Grubenor Richardson as the investigations got too close.
b) the bright shining light coming from the flames of Caroline Schlossberg's quest to crash the club gates.
c) Roland Burris pounding on the door, bawling Let me in, I'm entitled, while the Capitol cops reluctantly prepare to haul him away. Not for violating the sanctity of the club, to which Burris is entitled to join, but for violating copyright on Michelle's favorite saying, viz, "I'm entitled! You owe me!"
d) Grubenor Blago chaining himself to the Executive Mansion, roaring defiance at an Assembly and Senate composed of half scoundrels and half ninnies elected by a majority of boobs, dolts, and all sorts of combustible rubbish for racial demagogues.
e) the collapse of The One's economic program because the presses at the Bureau of Printing and Engraving are otherwise occupied in printing pardon blanks for Atty. Genl. Holder who leans toward granting pardons to thousands of supplicants for jobs in The One's administration.
f) the clownish if murderously meant struggles between the new Secy of State and the new National Security Adviser. The One's famous testiness as his waffle eating is interrupted, will only increase as all those pesky fanatics continue to insist on blowing up civilization instead of letting The One get on with the task of remaking racist America...

And this is only what is visible at the moment. God knows what other acts The One will give us in these next four years. Barnum sulks in his tent as The New Greatest Show on Earth prepares to bellyflop.

Who's Jim Carrey, again?

Sincerely yours,
Gregory Koster

(5) Postergal made the following comment | Jan 7, 2009 5:51:39 PM | Permalink

I have not seen the movie that's why I can't comment so much on your observations. But judging on the past Jim Carrie movies like Ace Ventura, Liar Liar, Bruce Almighty, etc, Jim Carries never fails to amuse me. I think this too. Movies like these are really aimed at making you laugh. I think the script and over production are not really that important.

(6) Bob Steele made the following comment | Jan 8, 2009 1:01:44 AM | Permalink

I came accross your site after finding a Christmas card that my late uncle, Warren Jackson of Burbank, CA sent to my parents on December 10, 1944 from the U.S.S. Zeilin. I think he was on the Zeilin from early 1943 until late 1945 and he was on board during the Kamikase hit. I'll check back for additional info on your early posts on the Zeilin. Thanks. Bob Steele Albany, Oregon

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