Who’s In It: Jim Carrey, Zooey Deschanel, Bradley Cooper
The Basics: Jim Carrey is a divorced-and-hating-it, bored, withdrawn bank employee who stumbles into a cult-like self-help seminar and emerges vowing to say “yes” to any request or opportunity that crosses his path. Crazy hijinks and mulitple moments of box-office-approved, Carrey-patented face-pulling ensue.
What’s The Deal: Movie reviewers are supposed to be objective and impartial but you know that’s not always the way it works out. Therefore, I'll confess a prejudice: the only Jim Carrey I’m usually down for is the depressed version in movies like Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind. His In Living Color/Mask-birthed persona has always rubbed me all the wrong ways. But as much as I wanted this to be a two-word “No, Dude” review, I have to admit that it was pretty funny a lot of the time. He’s dialed back the onscreen insanity a little (in my fantasy world, Meryl Streep beat it out of him on the set of Lemony Snicket) and I finally feel like I can breathe while I watch him work.
The Secret Weapon: Zooey Deschanel. She’s petite and cute but never mousy or doormat-ish. You can see her hold her own when Carrey tries to devour a scene, even if all she’s doing is giving a reaction shot. See also: All The Real Girls, Elf and the way she tried to single-handedly save Failure to Launch.
Also Unhateable Because Of: Flight of The Conchords guy Rhys Darby as a boundaries-challenged boss who has Harry Potter-themed parties, Terence Stamp as the jaded self-help guru and a weird suicide-attempt sing-along scene that’s shoehorned into the middle of it all.
Heathers Alumnus Alert: Obsessives will almost-recognize 20-years-older Patrick Labyorteaux. (He was “Ram” in his Winona days, the one who winds up one of the “I love my dead gay son” victims of Christian Slater's murder spree.) Here he's a desperate bank loan applicant.