Search This Blog

6.04.2009

Yes Man


I like romantic comedies--no apologies on my man card here. I've always enjoyed them, and there was a time, early on in courting my wife, when we watched like three a week.

I managed a video store, so don't look at me like that. The vids were free of charge.

If Lucy Fell, Bed of Roses, The Brothers McMullen--we watched them all. Some of them were decent. One Fine Day and Sleepless in Seattle come to mind.

Most of them, though, are utterly forgettable. You can't even remember the characters after your post-flick nightcap.

Here's the formula: Some man suffers from angst. There's a lot of ennui. Or he's a total slacker or idiot (I'm looking at you Mathew McConaughey). He meets a woman--usually a sprite or a free spirit or whatever--whose charms lift him above his meager station. He sees the light, then does something she thinks is unforgivable, until we cue the score and there's a big kiss scene after she inexplicably forgives him.

Shoot. Tired of that, my friends. Exhausted, really.

I hoped this film would stay away from that, because it has its moments. Yes Man could have been twice as good if they'd not included the late plot wrinkle. Why not focus, for once, on the fact that this existential schlub (Jim Carrey as Carl Allen) had a legitimate epiphany? Why contrive that argument between Allen and the character played by the mildly charismatic Zooey Deschanel? Why not just let the fact that this guy finally started participating in his life be the focus, not the fact that he has to contrive some way to get the girl back?

It's not a terrible film. Rhys Darby continues to slay me. That man is wholly watchable. And Carrey is good in a number of scenes--he does a fine job here, overall. The face-taping sequence feels weird, given his character, but it's ok. I love the homage to his scooter odyssey in Dumb and Dumber in the scene when he takes over her ride.

It's ok, but it follows the formula, and the formula might be tried and true, but it stinks for those of us who have looked at it two...thousand...times.

Shoot.

I read a few pages of Cell last night to my little girl. We firmly believe there's no time like the present to prepare the little ones for the zombie revolution.

10 comments:

Karen from Mentor said...

Daniel,
I have a theory that those guys who bemoan the fact that they are nice guys but "just can't get the girl" should watch every chick film EVER made and then talk passionatly and loudly about them to a "friend" on the phone while hanging out in coffee shops, the health food bar, you know...places chicks go...(while making sure that they are putting out hetero signals...don't want to launch the boat for the wrong team ...or THAT could work too, just add Barbara and Cher to the mix) and see what happens.

Loved the photo of you with your fish. I didn't think it made you look like a dork at all.
If you want to see dorkdom in action lol come see how excited I am about Joe Konrath coming to see me on Tuesday.
Thanks for letting me poke around.

Karen :)

Daniel W. Powell said...

Evening, Karen,

Thanks for dropping in and commenting. I had a good, loud chuckle at your idea. I think we should make these films part of social custom; prior to dating (I'm looking at you, awkward twenty-two-year-old males), you must watch a minimum of thirty romantic comedies.

Ok--here's the question: do I like all of John Cusack's early work because I was raised in that era, or are they, in actuality, solid films?

On another note, you write well and I enjoyed looking at your blog. That discussion of Sokoloff's abilities was excellent--succinct and clear and perfectly complimentary.

Take care, and good fortune to you.

Karen from Mentor said...

Thanks Daniel!
I just launched last Sunday. I've had a very warm response.
Please come back in and leave a comment so people can find you too.
(as Joe said,spread the love)
There are lots of zombie fans among my personal minions...and hopefully I'll have more minions soon.mwahaahaaahha.
I saw a video title with the BEST zombie reference about a year ago...but I can't find it in the index cards in my brain at the moment. I'll think about it and get back to you.
probably at three a.m. Good thing the internet is always on.

And btw? If Alex comes in and comments you'll have to look away while I put my head between my knees and get a grip.

Jon Cusak? nice. Must Love Dogs...the scene where they are rushing from drugstore to drugstore?...oh my

Karen :)

Karen from Mentor said...

I JUST SAW what you do for a living. As you may have surmised...(turns pink) I have a THING about teachers.
For you to say I write well is extra extra special now.
Thanks again!
Karen :)

Karen from Mentor said...

Hey Daniel,
Thanks for stopping in to my place.
I'm REALLY tempted to cut and paste your comment about my piece on Alex to my blog too lol....but (sigh) I won't. Seems rude, egotistical and too much like stealing. Although I had no qualms about "borrowing" a photo from Alex for the posting. Hmmm, borrowed photo, borrowed comment...could be a trend.

I'm loving blogging.

I'm getting so many opportunities already just this week from it.
so cool.

There will be an upcoming post called "If only I could swear, I could write for The ONION."
You might like that too.
tty later,
Karen :)

Karen from Mentor said...

I have must love dogs on in the background. I've been writing all morning...meshed two WIP into one and IT'S AWESOME. FLOWS SO WELL...very stoked.(there's a blast from the past kind of word.)

My question for you, Mr. I've seen chick flicks and some are pretty good...do you think that it's in Dermot Mulroney's contract that whenever he's in a romantic comedy he gets to sing?
Must love dogs, the wedding date,my best friends wedding...what's up with that?

and btw? Alexandra Sokoloff came in this morning and commented on my piece about her....holy holy holy cow.
Karen :)
5 comments? Five??I DO have a life, just not today apparently. lol

Daniel W. Powell said...

Evening, Karen,

It never occurred to me that Mulroney was such a singer, but that's a sizable list. I've never understood his popularity--he always felt pretty one dimentional to me.

Congrats on the positive feedback on the blog and the progress with the writing!

Daniel

Daniel W. Powell said...

Oops...meant "dimensional"--yep, I are an English teacher.

Karen from Mentor said...

but he's so pretty.

(hey that works for both of your comments)

Jennie said...

I agree with you about movies being predictable. I sit there and say what's going to happen next. My friends have no idea how I do it but it's obvious to me, we've seen it a billion times just under a new name. Anyway, I recently, about 2 or 3 months ago, watch The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and I LOVED IT! I thought it was original. There might have been old predictable parts but loves stories don't usually end because someone aged into a baby, lol.