Netflix UK film review: Yes Day
James R | On 12, Mar 2021
Director: Miguel Arteta
Cast: Jennifer Garner, Edgar Ramirez, Jenna Ortega, Julian Lerner, Everly Carganilla
Watch Yes Day online in the UK: Netflix UK
Reminiscent of Jim Carrey’s 2008 rom-com Yes Man, Netflix’s new family comedy asks one simple question: what if, for 24 hours, two parents had to say “yes” to everything their children asked. It’s the starting point for a chaotic comedy in which anything is possible – but sadly, nothing really unexpected happens.
Based on the 2009 children’s book of the same name, the film follows Allison (Jennifer Garner) and Carlos (Edgar Ramirez), two exhausted parents who have three kids sapping every ounce of their playful, youthful energy: Katie (Jenna Ortega), Nando (Julian Lerner) and Ellie (Everly Carganilla). The two grown-ups spend their days being stern at work, while Allison spends her nights having to be the bad cop and discipline their kids. When Nando makes a video at school comparing her to Mussolini, they decide to take up a teacher’s suggestion of having a “yes day” to loosen things up.
That’s all the kids need to take advantage of their temporarily lenient guardians, who waste no time in dressing them up in superhero costumes and taking them for an all-you-can-eat ice cream breakfast. It’s a pleasure to see Ramirez get a chance to show off his comic side, while Garner hasn’t had this much to do in a film in far too long.
There’s some sympathy for their drudging domestic routine, and some likeable sentiment in which Allison bonds with Katie – Ortega, who has impressed in You and Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous, is carving out a strong portfolio of Netflix roles – but for a film that’s all about embracing surprises and anarchy, director Miguel Arteta and screenwriter Justin Malen keep things disappointingly conventional. The result is sadly by-the-numbers stuff, capturing the family bond at the movie’s heart but forgetting to have any fun along the way.
Yes Day is available on Netflix UK, as part of an £9.99 monthly subscription.