YES DAY (NETFLIX) (2021)
SYNOPSIS: Always feeling like they have to say NO to their kids and co-workers, Allison and Carlos decide to give their three kids a YES DAY -- where for 24 hours the kids make the rules. Little did they know that they'd be going on a whirlwind adventure around Los Angeles, that would bring the family closer to each other than ever before.
In 2008, Jim Carrey made a movie called Yes Man playing a character who promises to answer “yes” to every opportunity and request. 13 years later, the same concept is applied to Miguel Arteta’s Yes Day even though it’s based originally on a picture book by late author Amy Krouse Rosenthal.
Allison (Jennifer Garner) and Carlos Torres (Edgar Ramirez) are parents to a teenager, Katie (Jenna Ortega) and two younger kids, Nando and Ellie. Before they are married, Allison and Carlos are a pair of adventurous duo who will say yes to virtually anything but now everything is a big NO to their three kids. Dictator is what they called Allison. At the advice of the school counsellor and to win the hearts of their children once again, the kids can have a yes day if they do their chores and keep up their grades.
No doubt about it, rather than a coherent narrative, Yes Day relies a lot on physical comedy to get things going. Good parenting means agreeing to the kids’ request to finish a $40 gigantic sundae even if it’s going to rock your bowels or instantly wearing off the leather seats of your car by going through a car wash with windows down.
Fulfilling the requests of your kids is one thing but blindly agreeing to their ridiculous demands are likely a no-no. The logical rules and laws however don’t really apply here so long the young viewers are entertained by one absurd situation after another. For the adults, it’s either you sympathise with the Torres’ plight or laugh at their predicaments. As a responsible parent and adult, I chose the former.
For good measure, there’s lessons to be learnt in the movie’s final act regarding teen Katie’s issue of hanging out with older boys and her younger siblings who staged a party that ended with a foam explosion before the happily ever after ending after a brief excruciating 86 minutes.
Jennifer Garner (also donning a producer hat) and Edgar Ramirez are serviceable as silly parents who accomplished even sillier gags with their kids. If you recall, Garner also did Disney’s Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day with director Miguel Arteta. To sum up, Yes Day on the whole is pretty awful and mediocre. This is very much a movie that should be made under the Disney banner which brings up the question of why Netflix is busy copying Disney’s past formulas these days. NO. NO. And please NO.
Review by Linus Tee