Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: No To Yes Man; Seven Pounds Is Too Heavy

Plus, The Tale of Despereaux is so-so, while The Wrestler electrifies.

by | December 18, 2008 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got self-improvement (Yes Man, starring Jim Carrey and Zooey Deschanel), mysterious altruism (Seven Pounds, starring Will Smith and Rosario Dawson), and rodent adventures (The Tale of Despereaux, with voice work by Matthew Broderick and Dustin Hoffman). What do the critics have to say?

After a disastrous detour to dramatic territory with The Number 23, Jim Carrey is back to the realm of wacky comedy. Unfortunately, critics say his return is only sporadically successful in Yes Man. Carrey plays Carl, a man gripped by depression who enters a self-help program that encourages its devotees to say yes to each and every question. However, Carl finds answering in the affirmative can sometimes have negative consequences. The pundits say the film has its moments, thanks to Carrey’s manic energy, but it’s ultimately little more than a series of comedic set-pieces that don’t build or cohere; worse, we’ve already seen Carrey do a pretty fine variation on this theme in Liar Liar. At 40 percent on the Tomatometer, you may want to say “no” to Yes Man. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we count down Carrey’s best-reviewed films.)

“What’s it called? Gallipoli? Sounds hilarious!”

It’s unsurprising that Will Smith would want to shed his blockbuster baggage every once in a while and throw himself into a smaller, more dramatically weighty role; unfortunately, critics say his latest, Seven Pounds, is more leaden than anything else. Smith stars as Ben, an IRS agent haunted by past misdeeds. As a way of making amends, he decides to practice random acts of kindness on strangers, a plan that goes in intriguing directions when he falls in love with terminally-ill Emily (Rosario Dawson). Some pundits have given Smith credit for attempting riskier material, but they also say Seven Pounds doesn’t follow the rules of logic very closely, and its tone is somber and portentous. At 35 percent on the Tomatometer, Seven Pounds may not be worth your 10 dollars.

“I’m really sorry that I said girls ain’t nothin’ but trouble.”

Another week, another so-so animated feature. The Tale of Despereaux is a fantasy tale about a heroic little mouse who becomes an outcast for refusing to conform; he befriends a group of rats, with whom he shares a journey of self-discovery and adventure. The pundits say Despereaux looks pretty good, and is mercifully free of the toilet humor and pop culture references that have become commonplace in animated features. However, it’s also lacking a sense of magic, and doesn’t really take dramatic flight. At 42 percent on the Tomatometer, this mouse is a tail’s-length behind Ratatouille.

“Man, it’s taking forever to read this book!””

Also opening this week in limited release:

Recent Jim Carrey Movies:

Tag Cloud

ESPN Nickelodeon Marathons Character Guide Infographic TV Land Biopics BET period drama dramedy thriller Certified Fresh Lionsgate social media WGN RT History BBC America Superheroes Action Summer cooking Bravo Comic Book vampires Super Bowl Reality Competition crime drama Disney Sneak Peek PBS Kids & Family Country Cosplay boxoffice Watching Series harry potter FX TV Mystery 2017 A&E Logo FOX American Society of Cinematographers Fantasy TIFF Music SDCC APB Box Office IFC Showtime Syfy Winners Grammys Reality NYCC Premiere Dates sports Nominations travel crime thriller First Look Fall TV 2015 DC Comics X-Men Adult Swim Best and Worst Valentine's Day Amazon Opinion Red Carpet Disney Channel Star Wars cinemax OWN Photos MTV FXX Fox News Horror 2016 Martial Arts technology 24 frames Podcast docudrama Masterpiece ITV Rocky Trailer The CW Holidays Schedule serial killer MSNBC Cartoon Network biography Nat Geo History Year in Review E! TruTV police drama Interview aliens Calendar President Exclusive Video Sci-Fi Toys Winter TV Awards sitcom Video Games discovery TCM Pirates Extras SundanceTV TCA 2017 Lifetime Oscars Emmys science fiction Comedy Central Polls and Games Drama adventure comiccon BBC diversity Esquire politics CBS Set visit Netflix TNT Hulu Star Trek Comedy Writers Guild of America singing competition Animation GoT Ghostbusters AMC GIFs DirecTV war Pop Freeform Rom-Com CNN NBC GLAAD Election Spring TV Countdown Food Network USA cops Sundance TBS VICE Rock Marvel Musicals CMT El Rey Tomatazos LGBTQ CBS All Access Teen TCA Trivia 007 HBO ABC Starz Crackle Mary Tyler Moore VH1 PaleyFest Thanksgiving ABC Family Tumblr Universal