Earlier this year I had the pleasure of reading a fantastic book written by author-come-radio-host-come-TV-presenter Danny Wallace entitled Yes Man. You may recognise the name Danny Wallace, you may not, as he has done the odd bit of television work most prolifically by creating his own country on his BBC show. Anyways, the book tells his 6 month journey simply of when he simply said ‘Yes’ to everything – vulgar internet offers, drug deals, visiting places around the world, the lot. It’s an absolutely fantastic read and constantly through the book I laughed, smirked, felt sorry and got shocked at all the various escapades that Wallace managed to get himself into. perhaps some were fabricated to create more entertainment for the book but nevertheless, it was a fantastic, fantastic read and a book I’d happy read again.
However, whilst reading the book, I found out from a friend that a film, funnily enough, called Yes Man, had been made and released starring a much loved actor of mine in Jim Carrey. See, I love my movies. I have a stupid amount of DVD’s on my shelf in my room and scattered about the house with some not even opened yet, but I absolutely love curling up to a film after a long, tough day and just entering my own little bubble. Hearing this news got much excitement in me because at the time, I was obviously having a splendidly fun time reading this book! So I went online to find this synopsis of the film over at IMDB…
“The banker Carl Allen is a lonely man with low self-esteem after his divorce with Stephanie, for whom he still yearns. He avoids his best friend Peter. He has a boring job, stalled in a bureaucratic position in the loan department of a bank; and he spends his spare time watching DVDs. When he meets by chance his former high school mate Nick, he is convinced to participate of a self-help program called "Yes Man" leaded by the guru Terrence Bundley. The basic principle of the program is to say "yes" to new situations, leaving the negativism aside. Carl misunderstands the concept and says "yes" to every question. While leaving the encounter, he helps a homeless man and in the end of the night he meets the gorgeous Allison that helps him with her scooter. His life completely changes with his new attitude.”
Huh. See, this is what what book is like…
Wallace, a freelance radio producer for the BBC in London, takes three simple words uttered by a stranger on a bus-"say yes more"-as a challenge and says "yes" to everything for a year. He says "yes" to pamphleteers on the street, the credit card offers stuffing his mailbox and solicitations on the Internet. He attends meetings with a group that believes aliens built the pyramids in Egypt, says "yes" to every invitation to go out on the town and furthers his career by saying "yes" in meetings with executives.
See, now this is what bothers me about Hollywood ‘adaptations’. They don’t adapt in some cases, they appear to change completely. The synopsis for the film really put me off seeing it once the book was over and done with, and what I knew up to the point where I found out about the film. I realise it may seem picky pointing out the changes where there may be some comparisons, albeit not direct comparisons of context, but I will admit reading the film’s synopsis bugged me. It bugged me a lot. It sounded so… American!! The book is quintessentially British, and I absolutely LOVE how utterly British it is in the way we act, because a lot of not only Wallace’s actions but his friends in the book are everything that we can relate to. The context he writes in, the things he talks about, the way life moved on and the way he creates his world within the book just feels like home! Yet everything I read about the film so far just seemed so… not Yes Man. Bah! I want the book damnit, not what this sounds like!
I’ll be honest. To this point, I have not seen the film. So yes, I am kind of criticising something I have not seen yet, you could say. It’s not arrogance towards the film, but a little bit of fear to be honest in watching something try to be something else that I vastly enjoyed but failing miserably. Whilst browsing through HMV this weekend, I noticed that Yes Man was out on DVD and currently in their sale for a measly price. I simply stared at it and wondered. I walked away soon, still wondering to myself whilst looking for other deals (I got Planes, Trains and Automobiles, woohoo!). The thing is, the more I browsed the epic collection within the store, seeing the film equivalent of Yes Man came quarrelling back into my thoughts, leaving me to wander back over to the stand. Standing there, I asked myself ‘It’s cheap… and on sale… Should I give it a go, see how it plays out?’.
It only seemed fair, considering the title, what my answer was… so I’ll get back to you lovely people on my thoughts and feelings very soon!