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Yes Man 

Amusing return to 1990s form for manic funnyman Jim Carrey that should please his fans, after a string of not terribly popular non-comedic roles. As with Carrey’s 1997 film Liar Liar, it’s a simple-to-digest gimmick, as the star plays Carl, a Los Angeles bank-loan officer in a personal and professional slump, shunning commitments to friends and family and clients. Carl attends a feel-good seminar led by a self-help guru (Terence Stamp, who had a similar role as a quasi-Scientologist in Bowfinger), admonished to turn his life around by saying “yes” to everything asked of him. Reluctantly at first, then with greater and greater joie de vivre and Carrey-okie zaniness, Carl unconditionally says yes to panhandlers, bank customers, internet-spam ads and, most crucially, a free-spirited West-Coast Boho chick (Zooey Deschanel) who begins to overcome the hero’s divorce-bred fear of romantic commitment. Some third-act complications arise, more than anything else to satisfy a facile demand for third-act complications, but all ends happily. L.A. looks like a crazy-quilt multicultural wonderland where the sun always shines and anything is possible, and even being homeless could be loads of fun. Ah, if only life were like this. HHH

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More by Charles Cassady

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