Review: Mr. Popper’s Penguins

Jim Carrey and the penguins.

Carrey and his screaming, pecking, crapping, CGI penguins

Rating: *

Only in movies, do these happen! Six penguins arrive in winter and change a man’s life. It’s like Ebenezer Scrooge meeting penguins instead of the ghosts. In what turns out to be a PG-rated film, Jim Carrey decides to entertain kids’ kids. I mean, who else would watch a film that’s based on a bedtime story that was written in 1938.

In 1938, Richard and Florence Atwater wouldn’t have expected Hollywood to use CGI and create the penguins which they thought were life-saving. They would however appreciate the fact that Ophelia Lovibond’s Pippi is the saving grace of what could have been a disastrous family comedy.

Again, the movie is basically a nutshell of what Hollywood was and is relapsing to. I can’t (well, I can) wait to see what Kevin James’ Zookeeper does to CGI and family comedy. Night at The Museum isn’t my favourite Ben Stiller film.

Jim Carrey had a good run. Yes Man was comically less superior, but I Love You Phillip Morris is one of his best films (apart from The Truman Show and Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind). His foray into entertaining kids may have succeeded in the previous decade.

But, today’s kids are all about vampires, magic and Japanese anime. There’s no possible way, Mr. Popper’s Penguins will be of any help in getting kids back to the eternal charm of rediscovery through CGI animals.

Carrey’s film lacks the charm of a family comedy. Not even Carla Gugino is successful in attracting you.


Review: Yes Man!

Zooey Deschanel and Jim Carrey in Yes Man!
Zooey Deschanel and Jim Carrey in Yes Man!

Definitely Yes for Jim Carrey and Zooey Deschanel!

Yes Man! (PG-13)

Director: Peyton Reed

Cast: Jim Carrey, Zooey Deschanel and Bradley Cooper

Rating: ***

What makes life sound different? What is the use of spreading happiness? What is the main motive behind Jim Carrey smiling so wide in the poster, that you could count his teeth? These were just the questions when you sit down with a popcorn and Coca Cola to watch the last night show of Jim Carrey’s latest offering – ‘Yes Man’

In my younger days at primary school, we used to play a game in the classroom. A simple one where you’ve to agree to what your opponent tells you. Sometimes, he/she may ask you to write their notes, sometimes say a sentence or sometimes get slapped. In my 12th grade, we had a renaissance about it and we tried it again. But, we were too old to get slapped by our opponents, who were mainly girls. When the scenes of a juggling ‘Yes Man’ pass by, I’m reminded of those slaps.

1997, the big year for Jim Carrey, who starred in Liar Liar, a story about a lawyer who has to stop lying on his son’s birthday. What happened then was the crux and fun of the film. Now, in 2008, Jim Carrey takes on a familiar script. The film is however an adaptation of Danny Wallace’s autobiography in the same name.

When you set sight on Carl Allen, you find him as a deprived person. He’s divorced, he’s in Los Angeles, he’s a junior loan approver in a bank and he’s a slave to his really childish and immature boss Norman. Carl Allen turns down all parties and coffee invitations. He finds it easy to say ‘no’. It is funnier when you see Carl Allen say ‘no’ in many different manners. Some are really brain-twisting phrases too. However, his friend Nick takes him to a seminar called ‘Yes!’ There, the guru of the seminar talks Carl’s way out and persuades him to say ‘yes’ to every request, invitation or demand.

After that, you see Carl losing his cell phone balance and money to a homeless man. These scenes are always there in every Jim Carrey movie. Carl meets Allison – the most beautiful woman you would have ever seen. The problems of saying ‘yes’ to everything doubles up on Carl who has a lot of funnier moments.

Jim Carrey sings 'Jumper' and prevents a suicide.
Jim Carrey sings 'Jumper' and prevents a suicide.

And then, there is this highlight scene – Carrey bungee jumping from a bridge and gets a phone call from his boss who wants to know if he knew any collaborators. Jim Carrey has done the best that he always does. Portraying a loser in every movie, Carrey’s character slowly builds confidence and reaches the top. After the loss of his home production, ‘Fun with Dick & Jane’ in 2005, Carrey has set sight on new heights. The problem with the movie is that the plot is known to all of us. Carrey says ‘yes’ to everything and gets caught in problems and in the end, he gets everything alright.

Showering her beauty to us is Zooey Deschanel who portrays Allison. Zooey, who has been known for her deadpan comic roles and her blue eyes, is on a song in this movie. Acting alongside Carrey, she seems a perfect match like Jennifer Aniston did in ‘Bruce Almighty’.

First-timer, Peyton Reed has carried out a neat direction throughout ‘Yes Man’. What, ‘Yes Man’ has is, the consolable acting of Jim Carrey which provides comic relief at times where the script is slogging.

As ‘Yes Man’ ended, I discovered that Jim Carrey tries to be a superhero – He juggles the whole movie on his head and he forms the bridge that connects drama and humor. Zooey Deschanel, however becomes a dream girl for everyone watching her close-ups and extreme close-ups.

‘Yes Man’ may be long forgotten as Carrey has perhaps portrayed many roles similar to this. While some of his movies like ‘Truman Show’ and ‘Bruce Almighty’ remain Jim Carrey classics, this would perhaps remain as a Jim Carrey exclusive. Should you watch it? YES MAN!