DIRECTED BY: Miguel Arteta
STARRING: Jennifer Garner, Édgar Ramírez, Jenna Ortega, Julian Lerner, Everly Carganilla, Megan Stott, June Diane Raphael, Nat Faxon, Leonardo Nam, Fortune Feimster, Hayden Szeto, Greg Cromer, Arturo Castro and Molly Sims
Always feeling like they have to say no to their kids and co-workers, Allison and Carlos decide to give their three kids a Yes Day, where for 24 hours the kids make the rules. Little did they know that they’d be going on a whirlwind adventure around Los Angeles, that would bring the family closer to each other than ever before.
Yes Day is a film based on the children’s book of the same name by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld, adapted by Justin Malen and directed by Miguel Arteta. The film opens with how Allison and Carlos met, two kindred spirits who would say yes and do everything from mountain climbing, to skydiving, and pretty everything that involves fun and thrill-seeking. Once they get married and have children, their yes spirit has been flipped into a pair those favourite word in their children’s mind is the word no, so much so that at the parent-teacher meeting it’s highlighted to them, primarily Allison, that their strict rule within the house is compared to Stalin. When the pair encounter Mr. Deacon, a guidance counsellor at the school, they learn about Yes Day, where for 24 hours, the kids get to rule and decide what the family should do (with a few rules of course). With their eldest daughter Katie believing that her mother will break before the 24 hours are up, the two have a wager on it, that if Allison keeps her nerve she will be taking her daughter to Fleek Fest, and if she loses it, Katie can go with her friends alone.
The film looks at free-spirited individuals such as Allison and Carlos becoming parents and be filled with the responsibility of protecting their children from a world that provides endless amount of possibilities and ways to hurt them, leading to ‘no’ literally being the gospel in their daily lives. While Allison is viewed as the villain in the household by the kids, which is vividly made clear when the two of them attend a parent-teacher meeting where the teacher plays a video that their son Nando made comparing his mother to dictators, Carlos is viewed as the fun dad, primarily as he has to be that ’no’ figure at the office for some toy/electrical company (I can’t remember if it is made clear where Carlos works at). It’s years of this method of parenting from the two that builds a certain amount of tension as Allison has grown tired of being the bad guy in this scenario, while Carlos is reluctant to take on that extra responsibility of putting his foot down as he doesn’t want to be the bad guy at work and at home.
While there’s some particular character arcs that will peak your interest, such as the riff between Allison and Carlos as well as Allison and eldest daughter Katie, the film primarily focuses on the concept and antics of Yes Day, especially as it tries to outdo itself with each thing the kids want to do, from having the windows down whilst going through the car wash, to taking part in a game of Kablowey (paintball and capture the flag hybrid of madness). With most things involving fun, Yes Day is no different as its all fun and games until someone gets hurt and they do, physically and verbally, and executed in a way of familiar family film tropes that we have seen many times before. While some things don’t work (Jean the paramedic for one and how that character is used here, and especially the use of CGI here and how it’s used on crows and foam), the chemistry amongst the family is infectious. Jennifer Garner and Ramírez are good here, particularly Garner, and the performances from the young cast are really good too.
Yes Day is a decent film for the family to sit and watch, with really good chemistry amongst the Torres family played by Jennifer Garner, Édgar Ramírez, Jenna Ortega, Julian Lerner, Everly Carganilla. Look forward to post-covid vaccine life for a game of Kablowey.
YES DAY WILL BE AVAILABLE ON NETFLIX ON 12TH MARCH.