Movie Title: 'Yes Day'
Directed: Miguel Arteta
Produced: Lawrence Grey, Ben Everard, Daniel Rappaport, Nicole King Solaka, Jennifer Garner
Screenplay: Justin Malen
Cast: Jennifer Garner, Édgar Ramírez, Jenna Ortega
Music: Michael Andrews
Cinematography: Terry Stacey
Edited: Jay Deuby
Production companies: Grey Matter Productions, Entertainment 360
OTT Platform: Netflix
Release date: March 12, 2021
Running time: 86 minutes
Carlos and Allison Torres are the parents of three wild children. the teenager Katie and the little ones Nando and Ellie. The marriage is going well but the situation with the boys is not the easiest, especially due to the constant refusal of their requests by Allison. Her mother di lei is seen as a real dictator and this is also reflected in their school work di lei, so much so that the teachers call the couple to inform her of the matter.
Initially puzzled by what she has discovered, Allison is persuaded by her husband to organize a "yes day", a day in which all the wishes of the offspring will be allowed with only some, understandable, limitations. The woman is determined to prove that she is still a fun person like her in her youth and she also has an additional gamble with her eldest daughter di lei, relating to attending a concert. When the fateful twenty-four hours strike, Carlos and Allison will find themselves dealing with increasingly daring situations.
The main point may partially recall the one behind Yes Man (2008), an underrated comedy with Jim Carrey in which the protagonist adhered to a program according to which he had to answer affirmatively to everything. In fact, the main source of inspiration for this new Netflix original has a solid foundation in reality, given that Yes Day has become a kind of anniversary celebrated by many American families, spread after the publication of the homonymous children's book by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld.
Jennifer Garner herself, here in the role of a female protagonist, confirms that she organizes it every year for her children and that this has helped family harmony. Too bad that the same cannot be said for this improvised update on the big screen, given that we are faced with a relatively banal comedy in its approach and dynamics, which is excessively affected by the condensation of the story into a single film day.
This is not so much for the reduced time, which barely exceeds eighty minutes, but for the myriad of gags and situations that alternate without a moment's respite during the vision. An excessive rhythm that distorts characters and emotions, as the prologue in voice-over already makes clear that in the span of two miserable turns of hands roughly introduces the family background.
The characters are thus like simple cardboard without a soul, ready to undergo the various misadventures that arise before them. from the binge of ice cream to be completed in a short half-hour to the car wash with the windows open, from the mass challenge to steal the flag for which free slow-motion action effects are used up to the fight for the giant plush of a gorilla, everything is seen and reviewed and moreover, it lives on an infinite series of forcings.
Certainly, the verisimilitude should not be sought in productions of this type, but the luck with which Ours is able to solve even the most complicated challenges ends up making the outline completely useless, simple, and thin stage for the tireless adventures of the characters.
Puerto Rican director Miguel Arteta, a specialist in such "condensed" titles having directed A Fantastic and Incredible Day to Be Forgotten (2014) a few years ago, presses on the accelerator without a real script idea and the result - despite Garner's discreet interpretations. and Edgar Ramírez - soon ends up enthralling rather than entertaining.
A comedy for the whole family that runs at a hundred per hour, forgetting the logic and narrative balance in favor of a repeated, infinite, succession of gags and exaggerated and gratuitous situations, where parents and children try to rebuild a relationship in crisis. 'Yes Day' is inspired by an event that has taken hold overseas, during which many parents decide to sacrifice their day by satisfying all the requests of the little ones. A potentially interesting idea to be transported to the film industry but is lost in a frenzied staging, where the excitement of the characters both small and large risks leading to a total confusion of intent. a partial pause occurs in the final phase, with the typical themed rhetoric obviously peeping out, with most of the spectators now shaken by the dominant background noise.