Movie Review: Yes Man!

Based off the comedic memoir of Danny Wallace, Yes Man tells the story of Carl, played by Jim Carrey, a man who decides to start saying “Yes” to everything in his life, in an attempt to cure his overall unhappiness with life. My husband and I are both big Jim Carrey fans and also absolutely love Zooey Deschenal who also stars in this film, so we were very excited for this movie and were not disappointed.

I’m going to start by saying that this is probably better suited as a date night movie, and not a family film. It’s rated PG-13 for crude sexual humor, language and brief nudity and while your older children might not have a problem watching this movie, I certainly wouldn’t want to watch it in the same room with them. You can check out the parental guide at IMDB.com for a more detailed account of the movie. This feature on IMDB allows parents to “describing the facts of relevant scenes in the title for each one of the different categories: Sex and Nudity, Violence and Gore, Profanity, Alcohol/Drugs/Smoking, and Frightening/Intense Scenes.” If you haven’t heard of this before, I highly recommend it.

Anyway, back to my review. Unlike Bedtime Stories, which we also watched last week, I found Yes Man to be a perfect example of a character who is flawed but changes for the better by the end. I really thought the script was well thought out and that Carrey did an excellent job bringing his character full circle by the movie’s end. The concept of saying yes to everything or no to anything is really well fleshed out in the movie. They do a great job visualizing for you what your life would look like if you did either, and the good and bad aspects of both. All of the acting in this film was superb and aside from telling a really good moral story, it’s a typical Jim Carrey film in that it’s just hysterical. I enjoyed every minute of this movie, never feeling bored by it at all (which I’m prone to lately in my “old age”). I would definitely recommend it to anyone, especially Jim Carrey fans.

I’d give Yes Man 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Movie Review: Bedtime Stories

I have mixed feelings about this new movie starring Adam Sandler. While Bedtime Stories is certainly a family friendly movie (rated PG) it was not exactly what I thought it would be. Yes, it’s a movie about bedtime stories coming true – but not in the fantastical sense that the previews might lead you to believe – for the most part, there seem to be perfectly rational explanations for a lot of things – nothing just pops out of thin air in a magical way – it’s more like the stories become premonitions for Sandler’s character’s real life.

Sandler plays Skeeter  Bronson, whose father built and ran into the ground the hotel he now works in – as a janitor. It had always been his father’s dream for his family to inherit the hotel, but when he proved to be a not so great business man, he ended up selling the hotel to a man who promised to give his son a job running the hotel someday. And then of course, he didn’t quite keep his promise. But with the help of Skeeter’s adorable niece and nephew, a bug eyed guinea pig, and some imaginative bedtime stories, things start to change – and in true family movie fashion, he manages to turn his life around.

I think the only thing that bothered me about this movie is that, despite being funny, Skeeter’s character isn’t terribly likable. He is pretty rude and, well, crude. Don’t worry about inappropriate material – that’s not really an issue – it was just a little disappointing this his character was never really admirable. I guess you could say he was an underdog, but I couldn’t help but feel like he often deserved his underdog status. And even by the end of the movie when he “turns his life around” and learns the lessons that make him a better person – it isn’t really as rewarding as it could have been – he just sort of pulls things together and comes out okay – he gets the girl, but you can’t help feeling sorry for her for that.

I don’t know – I think I’m being overly critical – Sandler certainly has his style of humor and he excels at it – and the movie was good – I laughed all the way through it – it was really just the mom in me who said, “But wait – ” at the end. Your kids will probably love the silly antics – and you grown ups should enjoy it, too. Netflix deems it appropriate for kids ages 7+ and I think I’d agree with that.

I give Bedtime Stories 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Tale of Despereaux on DVD April 7th

despereauxI recently picked up the Tale of Despereaux by Kate Dicamillo and read the “Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread.” The novel had all the makings of a great story.  You fell in love with Despereaux almost immediately and enjoyed his voyage from a misfit, to falling in love,  to an outcast, and more.

I have a rule that when I watch a movie that was based on a novel I must read the book first. If I don’t do so, the book is pointless to read. My reasoning behind this is that a movie takes an hour or two to watch. A book takes a few days of enjoyment. There is no point in wasting the days of reading if you already know the ending from the movie. While on the vice versa if you read the book first you’ve had the enjoyment of the little things and the movie helps bring it to life.

When I received The Tale of Despereaux on DVD I was very excited to bring this story to life.  Amazon.com describes this video as:

“The Tale of Despereaux looks a little like Shrek. The storytelling and animation draw on everything from Ratatouille and classic fairytales to Shakespeare, Jonathan Swift, Indiana Jones, and, in its action sequences, even Bourne and Bond. But this movie stands on its own; too dark and violent for very young children, perhaps, but for the most part it’s exciting and funny, and it delivers a message about bravery and forgiveness that is relevant to us all. Voiced by Matthew Broderick, the title character is a little guy, even by mouse standards, with enormous ears and an imagination to match; much to the dismay of his elders, he “never cowers, won’t scurry, and refuses to be taught to be scared” (he’d much rather read a book than eat it, a pursuit that fills his head with visions of valiant knights, damsels in distress, and a life defined by “courage, honor, and decency”). ” – Amazon.com

The story is indeed a violent one, especially the novel which includes many instances of death and torture. Though, the movie spins the story to include the bare minimum of this dark side. It includes many of my favorite actors including Matthew Broderick, Dustin Hoffman, Emma Watson, and Tracy Ullman.  The comedic humor is made for children and adults, which makes it a great watch for parents and children.

This all star cast delivers a fresh and fun story that I would recommend to older children. This is a great family night movie, which is what we used it for. The Tale of Despereaux a Universal Studio movie is available on DVD starting April 7th, 2009.  You can also preorder this movie from all major retailers such as Amazon.

About the Momma:

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Andrea is a 26 year old work at home professional and mother to two beautiful little girls, Cayleigh (7) and Gabrielle (2). She is married to her one and only love Marc, they’ve been together almost 9 years and married almost 5. Andrea currently runs Mommas Review and handles the marketing and publicity for it. She is addicted to reading, social networking, and reality television.

Thank you to Extraordinary Mothers for this review opportunity.

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