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Look out for more coverage of
Yes Man in our magazines

THE MOVIE: Yes Man

THE STARS:
Jim Carrey • Zooey Deschanel • Terence Stamp
DIRECTOR: Peyton Reed

Jim Carrey and Terence Stamp THE CONCEPT:
Carl Allen (Carrey) has a tendency to say 'no' to everyone, until he signs up for a self-help program presented by the dynamic Terrence Bundley (Stamp) with one simple covenant: say ‘yes’ to everything and anything, which begins opening some unexpected doors for Carl, including a new romance (Deschanel)

U.S. RELEASE: December 19 2008, Nationwide
• Rated: PG-13

THE COMMENTS:

PEYTON REED:
“Jim was obviously very involved from the beginning with the film, we all worked together when we were writing, and as we were doing a movie where a guy says yes to life the possibilities were literally infinite in terms of what we could do with this concept. One of the things that was important to me and to Jim about this movie was to really ground it in some kind of reality.”

JIM CARREY on whether he’s a yes man in real life:
Jim Carrey“I would say yes, even when I say no, because sometimes saying no is saying yes to your own self worth. I like to enjoy life, I like to engage in life, so I would say I’m a yes man. I said yes to so many thing, from a sex change to gastric by-pass surgery [he laughs]. It’s always paid off for me.”

ZOOEY DESCHANEL (Allison):
Jim Carrey and Zooey Deschanel“It’s so much fun to work with Jim because he’s very contagious. It was always amusing on set. I’m a pretty energetic person myself, it’s always good I think in general to have different energies on screen, it’s nice to have different characters go at different speeds.”

CARREY:
Zooey Deschanel and Jim Carrey “Yeah, if we were the same person it would be a drag. And it wouldn’t be attractive for her at all. But it was nice because she’s completely a different tone than me, and our characters really worked well off of each other I thought. I think you really believe the relationship and see why they love each other.”

DAVID HEYMAN (Producer) on why this story, which is based on a British book, works in an American setting when Harry Potter (which he also produces) doesn’t:
“With this book what drew all of us to the story was the fact that it was his generosity of spirit that was so much a part of [author] Danny Wallace himself that infused all of his books, but particularly Yes Man. The spirit was universal, so I felt it was perfectly logical to move it to the United States, where quite frankly there are more big comedy stars and where we would have an opportunity to make a film that might reach an even larger audience. With Potter, there was no way you could move it, because the location and the spirit of it were so British. The themes and the ideas travel way beyond the UK but in terms of the British public school upon which Hogwarts was based, that’s a very British institution.”

REED on the bungee jump Jim Carrey really does off a bridge in the movie:
“The idea for the jump came when we were working on the script, and Jim said, ‘If we’re doing the bungee jump, I’m doing the jump, no stunt guys, I’m going to jump off the bridge whether you film it or not.’ It became this thing with the studio where there were insurance issues. You’re sending your star off of a bridge. Warner Brothers finally agreed to do it, but it had to be the last day of shooting in case Jim died or was injured, and we could only do it one time, so I had to make sure that Jim did this perfect jump.”

CARREY on what he was thinking when he did a bungee jump:
“Death. Lots of death. Thoughts of crossing over were actually going through my mind. It was very strange, it was like, ‘They do this all the time, this is no big deal, they’ve got this down,’ and then I got to the bridge, and that was intense enough, I went, ‘Oh my God, what have I done?’ But when I got my feet up on the ledge, it literally was like a freight train going through my veins, through my entire body, until I jumped. It was insane, it was unbelievable. I actually had post traumatic stress after it. For about a week after I dreamt of hitting the ground. I’ve crossed that off the list. They didn’t want me to do it at all and I said, ‘Well, I’m going to do it once in my life so you might as well get it on camera.’”

DESCHANEL:
“Allison is a free-spirited girl. She is cool She’s in a band, she paints and she takes photographs, she’s very creative and spontaneous. She’s sort of naturally the way that Carl is striving to be.”

CARRY on what he hopes the audience will take away from the movie:
“Mostly just to have a good laugh, and to feel good in their heart. I think it’s not only a funny movie, but I think you really believe the love story and the friendships and so I think there’s a lot to walk away with, but I guess if there is a message it’s just engage in life, say yes more than you do no, maybe a little bit more than you did before. Usually you regret the things you say no to.”

Jim Carrey and Zooey Deschanel

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

Visit the official Yes Man site
Images above © Warner Brother Pictures
Feature © 2008 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Film Review, #701, December 2008 cover

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