After winning back-to-back Golden Globes for Best Actor, one apiece in the Drama and Musical or Comedy categories, for The Truman Show and Man on the Moon at the turn of the millennium, Jim Carrey could have reinvented himself and moved away from the pratfalls, slapstick and face-pulling that turned him into a megastar in the mid-90s and entered a bold new stage of his career as an acclaimed dramatic talent.
It wasn’t to be, though, and his decision to stick to what he knew best ultimately wound up harming his career in the long run. Things continued to go swimmingly for a while, with 2003’s Bruce Almighty still the biggest box office hit among his back catalogue, but the law of diminishing returns eventually started to settle in.
Fun with Dick and Jane, A Christmas Carol, Mr. Popper’s Penguins, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, Kick-Ass 2 and Dumb and Dumber To all either suffered from critical or commercial apathy, and in some cases a combination of the two, but one of Carrey’s better efforts of the 21st Century is definitely Peyton Reed’s overlooked Yes Man.
His Carl Allen is a beacon of negativity, but a self-help seminar teaches him to simply say yes to anything, and it ends up having a profound affect on his life, with the highs soon followed by crushing lows. It’s a fairly rote setup, but Jim Carrey gives his performance all that he’s got, and it’s an endearingly inoffensive addition to his wheelhouse of comic vehicles. Yes Man is now streaming on Netflix, and given the 59 year-old’s continued popularity, it stands a real shot at making its way in to the Top 10 most-watched list over the coming days.