New on Netflix.
Directed by Miguel Arteta, based on Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s book, Yes Day is a family comedy that introduces us to the concept of the “Yes Day”, where parents agree, with some boundaries, to say yes to every suggestion their kids make. Jennifer Garner and Edgar Ramirez are parents, Allison and Carlos, of three kids, a teenage daughter, younger son and young daughter. Before parenthood Allison was the embodiment of saying yes from spontaneous days at the beach to sky diving, but now she’s the mum who says no. Her hope comes when school teacher and seemingly wise sensei Mr Dixon (Ned Flaxen) suggests a yes day.
In reality it’s a flimsy premise and what we get is a flimsy film, it starts promisingly, nicely setting up the story and the complexities that come with parenthood when having to play “bad cop” parent and that leads into the first couple of yes day stunts. However, the film doesn’t really get beyond been a loosely connected selection of silly family set piece stunts.
The story arc is hugely predictable and you know before the film starts exactly where it is heading and it doesn’t dissapoint, ticking all the boxes as it goes. You know the story is going to try to educate the kids about how just saying yes isn’t that easy and how there has to be some responsibility taken, but it doesn’t pull it off with a narrative that isn’t really strong enough to make it work.
All that said this isn’t terrible, there are things to enjoy, the early part of the film is fun and there are laughs to be had relatively regularly throughout. With a likeable cast in which Garner in particular carries off the Mum trying to be fun alongside kids that are all fun and believable. It never takes itself to seriously and at just under 90 minutes doesn’t try to drag out its rather flimsy idea too far.
If you want a smart well made comedy focussed on the trials of family there are much better ones out there, but if you are after a bit of light hearted fluff with a few laughs you could do a lot worse.