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29 February 2024

Carrey on to box-office success

Deschanel is the perfect sidekick to Carrey's goofy antics in Yes Man. (SUPPLIED)

By Michael Rechtshaffen

Jim Carrey plays a guy who can't say no in Yes Man, based on a memoir by author Danny Wallace about the life-changing power of positive responding.

On paper, this sort of thing would seem right up Carrey's alley, very much in that Liar Liar mode. So does it live up to its crowd-pleasing potential?

In a word, yes. When we first meet Carrey's Carl Allen, he's in a negative rut: Still smarting over being dumped by his girlfriend, cutting himself off from his mates and saying "no" to all the applications that come his way in his dull job as a loan officer.

But after he attends a self-help seminar led by "Yes" guru Terrence Bundley (a perfectly cast Terence Stamp), Carl discovers that his life is about to change for the better, especially upon meeting the free-spirited Allison (the irresistible Zooey Deschanel), a quirky force of nature who leads photography-jogging workshops when not singing with her band.

Director Peyton Reed keeps this livelier Bucket List fast and loose but seldom at the expense of veering thematically off-course.