Though Yes Day often feels full of generic plot beats and lame gags, it has a lot of heart and there is so much fun to be had.
Written by Becca Johnson
Starring Jennifer Garner and Edgar Ramirez, Yes Day is about two parents who feel they aren't as fun as they used to be, after having three children and developing busy schedules. In hopes of revitalising their lives and improving their kids' opinions on them, they arrange a 'yes day', on which they aren't allowed to say no to any of their children's requests.
Garner and Ramirez excel in their roles as both busy stressed parents, and fun-loving hilarious parents. After finding out her kids compare her to dictators and believe she is incapable of fun, Garner gives a great performance as she aims to prove her kids wrong. On the flip-side, Ramirez' character must prove that he can be stern and not leave all the tough parenting for his wife, and it makes for an interesting watch in seeing him discover this. Jenna Ortega, Everly Carganilla and Julian Ferner are also greats in their roles as three siblings who at first just want fun, yet end up learning about themselves and the world around them along the way. They added so much charm and charisma to the movie, the family dynamic coming across as believable at all times.
Aside from the performances, the most notable element of the movie is just how incredibly fun it is. Yes Day sets out to be a high energy, chaotic movie that doesn't take itself too seriously, and it achieves that. From indoor foam to trips to the theme park, it doesn't hold back from depicting the messy exciting fun that children crave. The story-line is paced really well, giving a balance of both entertaining amusement and endearing family moments. It definitely becomes more serious in the third act, when our characters begin to learn about themselves and gain wisdom through their mistakes, yet it doesn't linger on this for long, therefore stopping the movie from feeling too preachy. The run-time flies by, and at no point does it feel over-stretched or over-done. It's clear that Director Miguel Arteta just wanted to put a big grin on the faces of the audience, and it's safe to say he achieved this.
Unfortunately, if you're looking for a unique watch, this isn't the movie to opt for. It has many plot points that it's audience will undoubtedly have seen before, meaning its pretty predictable beat by beat. From the first ten minutes, it's easy to guess where Yes Day is going to go, and it definitely goes there. Like many movies of the family comedy genre, it also suffers from barrels of cringe-worthy dialogue. The jokes and gags are clearly aimed at children and don't offer much for the adult audience, but this is expected as we're watching a day play out that's completely controlled by kids. Some family films succeed in giving equal amounts of laughs for both adults and children, however Yes Day fails to achieve this.
For a 90 minute fun-filled flick, Yes Day can without a doubt be recommended, especially to parents and kids who are looking to enjoy a movie together. The characters are incredibly likeable, it's high energy from start to finish, and is full of enjoyment and endearing pleasure all the way through. However, it doesn't offer up anything new to the family comedy genre, and it fails to hit high heights on the funny front.