Directed by: #MiguelArtera
Written by: #JustinMalen
A mom and dad who usually say no decide to say yes to their kids' wildest requests with a few ground rules on a whirlwind day of fun and adventure.
A ‘yes day’ sounds kinda fun, right? For 24 hours, only the kids make the rules and the parents must say “yes” to anything, with some ground rules of course — Nothing too far, or too expensive, or anything that continues into the future (like owning a dog, for example). For some time, this has been something that parents have been implementing into their technique in real life; essentially giving their kids something to look forward to, but really it’s kind of manipulative and prone to birth some arguments. In Yes Day, Allison (Jennifer Garner) and Carlos (Édgar Ramírez) are enlightened on this concept and though initially against it, end up granting their own kids a ‘yes day’ in an effort to prove they’re not as boring as they think.
Though a very fun idea with potential for great comedy and exciting scenarios, it’s executed to a super average degree in Yes Day. The cast is wonderful, however. Garner is playing the strict mother who is set on proving to be a hidden fun-machine, and she plays it super well. On the other hand is Ramírez, the loving father who the kids seem to go to for approval of ideas. Eventually he has to step up and be a little more stern than usual. He and Garner share a really nice chemistry and their individual journeys are an interesting element, probably more-so than the crazy itinerary that the kids have worked up for their special day. Jenna Ortega plays Katie, the eldest sibling, and she brings a nice charm to the film while wrestling with coming-of-age themes as she gets a taste of independence. Her connection with Garner accentuates the story considerably, and their scenes in the final act are especially warming.
The problem with Yes Day lies in the ‘fun’ aspect. There is potential for some great humour and colourful goodness, and given that this is a fictional film, the writers could have made it more cinematic and care-free. That said, it is based on a book and it seemingly wanted a more grounded and realistic feel, so in that sense it achieved what it was aiming for. There’s nothing objectively wrong with it, but it does leave you wanting a little more from the concept. 24 hours with little to no rules is something I would have dreamt about as a kid, so it’s a shame they doesn’t fill the runtime with more invigorating activities for the Torres family to endure together. But as a film to throw on for a little cheering up, it’s not bad.
Yes Day is a good pick for the family to watch on one of those evenings where you can’t find anything else, and while it does have some laughs and heart-warming moments, it’s fairly bland in comparison to what could have been.
Yes Day is now streaming on Netflix.