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Yes Man

Film poster
Directed by Peyton Reed
Produced by David Heyman
Richard D. Zanuck
Written by Screenplay:
Nicholas Stoller
Jarrad Paul
Andrew Mogel
Danny Wallace
Starring Jim Carrey
Zooey Deschanel
Bradley Cooper
John Michael Higgins
Rhys Darby
Danny Masterson
Terence Stamp
Music by Lyle Workman
Mark Oliver Everett
They Might Be Giants
Cinematography Robert D. Yeoman
Editing by Craig Alpert
Studio Village Roadshow Pictures
The Zanuck Company
Heyday Films
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release date(s) December 19, 2008 (US, ES)
December 26, 2008 (UK)
January 1, 2009 (AU)
January 21, 2009 (FR)
Running time 104 min.
Country United States
Language English
Budget $70 million
Gross revenue $301,455,191[1]

Yes Man is a 2008 comedy film directed by Peyton Reed, written by Nicholas Stoller, Jarrad Paul and Andrew Mogel and starring Jim Carrey, Zooey Deschanel, Bradley Cooper, John Michael Higgins and Rhys Darby. The film is based loosely on the true story and 2005 book Yes Man by British humourist Danny Wallace (who has a cameo appearance in the film).

The film was a box office success despite receiving mixed reviews from critics. It was released on December 19, 2008, opening at #1 at the box office in its first weekend with $18.3 million and was then released on December 26, 2008 in the United Kingdom going straight to the top of the box office in its first weekend after release. Production for the film began in October 2007 in Los Angeles, CA.



Los Angeles bank employee Carl Allen (Jim Carrey) has become withdrawn and preoccupied with his personal life since his divorce from ex-wife Stephanie (Molly Sims). Routinely ignoring his friends Pete (Bradley Cooper) and Rooney (Danny Masterson) for hangouts at their local bar where Stephanie regularly visits, he has grown used to spending his spare time watching DVDs alone in his apartment, and has an increasingly negative outlook on life. After he finally goes too far and misses Pete's engagement party, Pete turns up at his house and berates him, telling him that he will end up completely lonely if he doesn't change his life around. At around the same time, an old colleague of Carl's suggests that he goes to a "Yes!" seminar with him, which encourages its attendants to seize the opportunity to say "Yes!" Carl decides to attend the seminar and he meets inspirational guru Terrence Bundley (Terence Stamp), who publicly browbeats him into making a covenant with himself. Carl reluctantly promises to stop being a "No Man" and vows to answer "Yes!" to every opportunity, request or invitation that presents itself thereafter.

After the seminar, saying "yes" to a homeless man's requests only leaves Carl stranded in Elysian Park with his phone battery dead, no cash, and his gas tank empty. Disillusioned, he hikes to a gas station where he meets Allison (Zooey Deschanel), an unorthodox young woman who rides a scooter. She gives him a hair-raising ride back to his car, and kisses him before she rides off. After this positive experience, Carl feels more optimistic about saying yes. However, he refuses fellatio from his elderly neighbor Tillie (Fionnula Flanagan), which results in almost getting attacked by a dog. Seeing the repercussions of saying no, he goes back to Tillie.

Carl starts to seize every opportunity that comes his way. He renews his friendship with Pete and Rooney, builds up a major friendship with his boss, Norman (Rhys Darby), assists Pete's fiancée, Lucy (Sasha Alexander) by throwing her a bridal shower after Pete asks him to, takes flying lessons, attends Korean language classes, learns to play the guitar, and even joins a Persian dating website. Saying "yes" constantly works to Carl's advantage. He earns a corporate promotion at work after his many approved loans open new territory for the bank in the area of microcredit. Making use of his guitar lessons, he plays Third Eye Blind's song "Jumper" to persuade a man (Luis Guzman) not to commit suicide by jumping off a ledge. Accepting concert tickets from a promoter, he sees an idiosyncratic band whose lead singer turns out to be Allison. He is charmed by her quirkiness; she is charmed by his spontaneity; and the two begin dating.

As their relationship blossoms, Carl and Allison meet at the airport for a spontaneous weekend excursion. Having decided to take the first plane out of town, no matter where its destination, they end up in Lincoln, Nebraska, where they explore the Frank H. Woods Telephone Museum, go skeet shooting, and attend a University of Nebraska football game. As they shelter from the rain in an isolated barn, Allison asks Carl to move in with her. He hesitantly agrees. But while checking in for the return flight, Carl is detained by FBI agents, who have profiled him as potential terrorist because he has taken flying lessons, studied Korean, approved a loan to a fertilizer company, met an Iranian mail-order bride, and bought plane tickets at the last minute.

Pete travels to Nebraska to explain Carl's odd habits, lessons, and decisions. As she finds out about Carl's motivational covenant, Allison begins to doubt whether his commitment to her was ever sincere. Deciding that she can no longer trust a man who is obliged always to respond in the affirmative, regardless of his true feelings, Allison leaves Carl at the airport and refuses to return his phone calls.

Carl's life takes a turn for the worse and he is unable to feel happy even after passing his flying test. To make matters worse, he is tasked by his new boss with informing Norm that he is among the layoffs in a shutdown of branches. He almost forgets about Lucy's shower, but makes it up to her and Pete by throwing them a surprise shower. After the party, Carl receives a tearful phone call from his ex-wife Stephanie, whose new boyfriend has walked out on her. When Carl goes to Stephanie's apartment to comfort her, she kisses him passionately and asks whether they can get back together. After Carl emphatically says "no," his luck takes a turn for the worse. The elevator in which he tries to leave Stephanie's building malfunctions in between floors, a black cat crosses his path, and his car gets clamped and towed. To his horror, the tow-man, who closely resembles him, turns around declaring "No man, no man, no man!" (in response to his "can't you give me a break?"), and he decides to end his commitment to the covenant.

Carl goes to the convention center where the "Yes!" seminar is held, and hides in the backseat of Bundley's convertible so that he can beg to be released from the covenant. Carl emerges as Bundley drives off, and the startled Bundley collides with an oncoming vehicle. The two are taken to hospital, injured slightly. After Carl recovers consciousness, an irate Bundley tells Carl that there was no "covenant." The point was merely to open Carl's mind to other possibilities, not to take away his ability to say "no" if he needed to.

Freed from this restraint, Carl finds Allison and admits that he does not want to move in with her just yet, but tells her that he genuinely loves and wants her—and has not been with her just because he has been compelled to say "yes". The couple kiss while Allison's fellow runners snap pics.

At the end of the movie, Carl and Allison are seen donating a truckload of clothes to a local homeless shelter. Cutting to the scene of the "Yes!" seminar, Bundley is seen walking onstage to several hundred naked audience members. It is implied that the participants have said "Yes!" to donating their clothes to charity.


Actor Role
Jim Carrey Carl Allen
Zooey Deschanel Allison
Bradley Cooper Peter
John Michael Higgins Nick
Rhys Darby Norman
Danny Masterson Rooney
Terence Stamp Terrence Bundley
Sasha Alexander Lucy Burns
Molly Sims Stephanie
Fionnula Flanagan Tillie
Maile Flanagan Janet
Sean O'Bryan Ted
John Cothran Tweed
Luis Guzman Jumper
Spencer Garrett Multack
Rocky Carroll Wes


Yes Man is based on a memoir of the same name by British humourist Danny Wallace. The book tells of the 6-month period in which he committed himself to saying 'Yes' to everything based on a brief conversation with a stranger he met on the bus. Danny Wallace also has a cameo in the film, in the final bar-scene of the movie, in which he is speaking to someone behind Danny Masterson.[2]

Carrey declined an upfront salary for his role in the film. He was instead paid 36.2% of the film's gross after its production and marketing costs were recovered.[3]

During shooting of a scene where Carrey's character bungee jumps off a bridge, Carrey interrupted and asked to do the stunt himself.[4] Carrey stated to the stunt double that he intended to do it in one take. When he jumps off, he is seen taking out a cell phone for the scene.

While shooting the scene in the bar where Carrey's character turns around into a waitress and falls flat on his back, Carrey executed the stunt incorrectly and fell to the floor harder than he expected, breaking three ribs in the process. Carrey himself revealed this in an interview for Moviefone in response to a viewer-submitted question about the film's stunts.[5]

Carrey also mastered basic Korean for a scene. A language coach was hired to help Carrey learn the language accurately. This was the same process for the scenes in which Carrey's character learns to play the guitar; Carrey tried to play during the years of his childhood, but "quit before ever learning a chord". Carrey said in an interview with HBO: "Just learning the basic chords was maybe the most challenging part of any movie I've worked on in my career. Peyton [Reed] even joked about the guitar part being dubbed, or just cut altogether." Reed played the song "Jumper" by Third Eye Blind, which had a high number of digital downloads after the film's theatrical release.[citation needed] After the final date of filming, Carrey "retired" his set guitar, and Zooey kept it. When asked about this, Carrey said: "I'll never need that, or any guitar ever again; guitar is not for me! Never has been, never will be!"[citation needed]

The film's soundtrack features original music by "Munchausen by Proxy", a fictional band named after the Münchausen syndrome by proxy, a psychological disorder. In the film, the band consists of actress Deschanel on lead vocals and the San Francisco-based all-girl band Von Iva, a trio of vocals, keyboards and drums. Von Iva's members collaborated with Deschanel—herself a singer-songwriter and one half of the duo She & Him -- on writing and recording the band's songs for the film.[6][7] Von Iva got the part of the fictional ensemble in the film after the movie's music supervisor, Jonathan Karp, saw the cover of their CD in Amoeba in Hollywood.[8] For the DVD/Blu-Ray release of the film, Deschanel and Von Iva filmed a spoof MTV music show-style documentary on the band for which they filmed mock music videos for several of the songs; the home video release also includes full-length performances by the group that were not included in the film.

The soundtrack also features nine songs by the Eels, including a brand-new song entitled "Man Up".[9]

The introduction music at the beginning of the movie from Carrey's ringtone comes from the song "Separate Ways" by Journey. It is also featured when Carrey's character bails out from the hospital to catch the joggography at 6AM.

Blu-ray / DVD release

The DVD and Blu-ray were released on April 7, 2009. Customers have the option of the single-disc edition and the 2 disc edition titled the "Ultimately Yes!" edition.


Critical reception

Yes Man generated mixed reviews. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported that 43% of critics gave positive feedback, based on 141 reviews.[10] Most critics thought that its plot was too similar to Liar Liar, which also starred Jim Carrey.[11] Metacritic also calculated a 46/100 approval rating based on 30 reviews.[12]

In his review for The Miami Herald, Rene Rodriguez wrote, "Yes Man is fine as far as Carrey comedies go, but it's even better as a love story that just happens to make you laugh,"[13] while Kyle Smith of The New York Post countered in his review that, "The first time I saw Yes Man, I thought the concept was getting kind of stale toward the end. As it turns out, that was only the trailer."[14] Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun Times gave the film 2 stars out of 4.[15]

Box office

Despite the mixed critical reception, the film opened #1 in its first weekend at the US box office with $18.3 million,[16] and went straight to the top of the UK box office in its first weekend after release.[17]

To date, the film has taken in more than $220 million worldwide, surpassing Carrey's previous comedy Fun with Dick and Jane, but falling short of his 2003 film Bruce Almighty.

Awards and nominations

2009 BMI Film Music Award

2009 Taurus World Stunt Awards

  • Best Overall Stunt by a Woman - Monica Braunger (Nominated)

2009 Artios Awards

  • Best Casting - David Rubin & Richard Hicks (Nominated)

2009 MTV Movie Awards

2009 Teen Choice Awards

  • Choice Movie Actor - Comedy - Jim Carrey (Nominated)
  • Choice Movie Rockstar Moment - Jim Carrey (Nominated)
  • Choice Movie Hissy Fit - Jim Carrey (Nominated)
  • Choice Movie: Comedy (Nominated)

2009 Kid's Choice Awards


  1. ^
  2. ^ Reynolds, Simon (2008-12-10). Video: DS at the 'Yes Man' premiere. Digital Spy, 10 December 2008. Retrieved from
  3. ^ Paskin, Willa (14 December 2008). "Jim Carrey's Deal of the Century (Or Not)". New York magazine. Retrieved 25 December 2008. 
  4. ^ Steve Chupnick (31 January 2008). "Jim Carrey Says Yes to Bungie Jump". Retrieved 4 March 2008. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ Jennifer Maerz (21 August 2008). "Von Iva Teams Up with Zooey Deschanel". 
  7. ^ Troup, Christina (4 December 2008). "Von Iva: ‘Girls on Film’". San Francisco Examiner. 
  8. ^ "Von Iva: Yes Women". 8 December 2008. Retrieved 9 December 2008. 
  9. ^ Thompson, Paul (21 November 2008). "Zooey Deschanel, Eels Affirm Yes Man Soundtrack". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 23 December 2008. 
  10. ^ "Yes Man Movie Reviews". Rotten Tomatoes. IGN Entertainment, Inc. Retrieved 5 August 2009. 
  11. ^ "Critics Consensus: No To Yes Man; Seven Pounds Is Too Heavy". Rotten Tomatoes. IGN Entertainment, Inc. December 18, 2008. Retrieved 21 December 2008. 
  12. ^ "Yes Man (2008):Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 5 August 2009. 
  13. ^ "Miami Herald Yes Man Review". The Miami Herald. December 19, 2008. Retrieved 21 December 2008. 
  14. ^ "Oh, no! 'Yes' is a mess". The New York Post. December 19, 2008. Retrieved 21 December 2008. 
  15. ^ Yes Man,, retrieved 17 July 2009
  16. ^ "Weekend Box Office Results for December 19–21, 2008". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 21 December 2008. 
  17. ^ "Carrey comedy tops UK box office". BBC News. 30 December 2008. Retrieved 30 December 2008. 

Further reading

  • Wallace, Danny (November 2008) (Paperback). Yes Man. Simon Spotlight Entertainment. ISBN 1416595538. 

External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

I thought if I said yes to things, and got involved with people, then sooner or later they'd find out I'm not enough. I didn't think I had anything to share. But now I know that what I have to share is pretty huge, and I want to share it with you.

Yes Man is a 2008 American comedy film directed by Peyton Reed, starring Jim Carrey and Zooey Deschanel, based on the book Yes Man by British humourist Danny Wallace.


Carl Allen

  • No. No means no!
    • First lines of movie, refusing to answer his telephone.
  • Hey Carl, do you wanna give all your money away to some homeless guy? Yes, yes I do. How 'bout letting him burn up your phone battery so that you can't call triple A when your car runs out of gas? You know what? That sounds like a fuckin' great idea! Why don't you take a late night stroll through the hills and get killed by the Manson family? Don't mind if I do!
    • Walking with gas can after being stranded without gas.
  • "Yes always leads to something good." "Never avoid opportunities. They may come in any form."
    • Reading from a "Yes!" pamphlet.
  • Hey, I'm just saying "yes" to life — 'cause — you gotta say "yes" to life. I'm in a secret conevant! ... that sounded naughty!
  • You ever had a Red Bull? I've never had a Red Bull before, but I had a Red Bull last night — I really like Red Bull.
  • She's spontaneous. She's ballsy. She has no clue what she's doing and she doesn't care. She's the complete opposite of me.
    • On Allison to Peter
  • Well, its been a nice run. I might get shit-canned norm. Anyway, don't worry about it — I'm sure it will lead to something good.
  • Not possible!
    • After leaving his apartment, he sees a guy who looks like him call Carl a "no man"
  • Terrence, Don't freak out...
    • Popping up in back seat of Terrence Bundley's car.
  • The old Carl didn't think he was enough for anybody. I thought if I said yes to things, and got involved with people, then sooner or later they'd find out I'm not enough. I didn't think I had anything to share. But now I know that what I have to share is pretty huge, and I want to share it with you.
  • Okay, maybe's fine. I like maybe.


The world's a playground! You know that when you are a kid, but somewhere along the way everyone forgets it.
  • Don't call me past 11pm, it won't happen again.
    Happened once, it happened twice, it happened three times, maybe four times, maybe five times, maybe, maybe it happened six times, but it won't happen seven times.
    I'm not your late night booty call.
    Don't call me past 11 PM, it won't happen again. You can call me at 10:59 but don't call me at 11 — cause that's my rule now.
    • Singing as lead of "Munchausen by Proxy"
  • I can't put my finger on you. You're unpredictable. Kind of mysterious.
  • I know our music isn't that mainstream — I love doing it. It's like my photography. I know there isn't that much demand for blurry photographs taken while running — but ... you know, who cares? The world's a playground! You know that when you are a kid, but somewhere along the way everyone forgets it.
  • How do I know if anything you did was because you wanted to or because you were following some goddamn program?

Terrence Bundley

  • LIfe! We are all living it — or are we?
  • Okay, If the molehill won't come to Terrence, Terrence will come to the mole hill. (takes off shoes and runs towards Carl)
  • You're dead, Carl. You say "no" to life and therefore, you're not living. You make up excuses to the people around you and to yourself. You're stuck in the same dead end job you've had for years. You don't have a girlfriend. You don't have anything close to a girlfriend, and you lost the love of your life because she couldn't be with someone who didn't live theirs.

"Yes!" literature

  • Yes is the new no! Start learning to say yes to life today!
  • Yes to adventure.
  • Yes to victory.


Allison [seeing Carl at bar, after her performance]: Hey! Out of gas "make out" guy!
Carl: Did we make out? Oh right we did. Now I remember!
Allison: What are you doing here?
Carl: Is this crazy or what?
Allison: It's so crazy. Are you stalking me?
Carl: No, I would never do that. Oh by the way, your new furniture — looks great from the yard.

Peter [after saying that Carl doesn't do anything fun or hang out with anybody]: I mean, do you even know my fiancee's last name?
Carl: Yeah! It's Fisher, Fishman. Wait.. Fish-wall...
Peter: Fishwall? You think her name is Lucy... Fishwall?
Carl: No. It's wrong.
Peter: It's Burns!
Carl: Burns?
Peter: It's Lucy Burns, Carl. And guess what? She doesn't like my best friend. And I keep trying to think of reasons why she should, but you know what? I can't think any.

Allison: I dated this guy and I was astounded at how perfectly content he was just living his life in this closed-off little box.
Carl: I know, its so frustrating! just want to grab these people and shake them. Say "Wake up you — you're missing out — on a little thing called Life!"
Allison: That's so true.

Jumper: Who you, man? Don't try anything, I'm going to kill myself so don't try to stop me.
Carl: Uh, okay...
Jumper: What you mean "okay"?
Carl: No, I don't mean "okay" — I just — give me a second. Uh, I should say something to you here.... Um, don't really know what it is.
Jumper: Man, you terrible at this, are you even a cop?
Carl: Hold on a second — I'm thinking! Wait! I got it.
Jumper: Where you going man? My man — hello?
Carl: Don't do it! I'm coming — "patience is a virtue."
Jumper: What the hell you doing in there?
Carl: [playing guitar and singing "Jumper" by Third Eye Blind]: I wish you would step back from that ledge my friend.
You could cut ties with all the lies that youve been living in,
And if you would never want to see me again
I would understand
I would understand. ... [Forgets lyrics] um, what is it?
Jumper [singing] : The angry boy a bit too insane
Icing over a secret pain.
You know you dont belong!
Carl: Everyone I know has got a reason
To say... [crowd joins in] put the past away!

Allison: I've known that I like you for a while, but just now I decided that I love you. Do you love me?
Carl: Definitely. I love you like — I can't believe it. It's kind of ridiculous.

Carl: I need you to remove the covenant.
Terrence: There is no covenant, there never was, I was just riffing.
Carl: Riffing?
Terrence: Well, I had to say something — you were being difficult, embarrassing me in front of my crowd.
Carl: So that little "Yes" thing is all bullshit?
Terrence: No — you just don't know how to use it, that's all.
Carl: Yeah I do — say "yes" to everything — real tough to grasp.
Terrence [exasperated]: No, that's not the point. Well, maybe at first it is, but that's just to open you up to it — to get you started. Then you're saying yes not because you have to, to because a covenant tells you to, but because you know in your heart that you want to.
Carl: Yah. You're right. That makes perfect sense.

Norman: (as Carl is heading over to Norman's house to break to him the news that Norm is being laid off, he answers the door dressed like Leondias from 300) WE! ARE! SPARTA!
Carl: Norm, I gotta tell you something. (scene cuts to Norm weeping on Carl's shoulder, which can put in place that Norm didn't take the news very well)

Carl: Even if I had met you, I would have never asked you out. You were the complete opposite of me. You did things and had friends and sang in rock bands and made life happen. You weren't scared of anything.
Allison: You don't think I'm scared of anything? Who do you think I am? I'm scared of a lot of things.
Carl: And I'm scared too. So let's be scared together.
Allison: I don't know what you want me to say.
Carl: So just say yes — but only if you really want to. And can you do it fairly soon? I'm starting to get a chill.

Terrence: YES! Say it a million times. Say it a million more times. And the word you will have said two million times is...
Crowd [nude because they've donated their clothes to charity]: YES!
Terrence [seeing them all nude]: Good God!


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