For months I have been trying to avoid seeing the movie Yes Man. You see, one of my children thinks he is Jim Carrey, which as far as I’m concerned is not the most charming thing about him and is absolutely not to be encouraged. Still, we have watched just about every Jim Carrey movie ever made, at least the ones that are semi-age appropriate. Which is a lot more than I would like, alas.
So last weekend I reluctantly settled in to watch Yes Man, hoping that I could have a little nap on the sofa while my son found a handful of new irritating behaviors to emulate. Imagine my surprise when I found a life lesson instead.
Ok, it’s embarrassing to be handed a life lesson by a manipulative, somewhat predictable Hollywood movie, and it certainly says bad things about my intelligence level that it works on me nearly every time. So be it. Those of you who have seen Yes Man (and probably even those who haven’t) know that the message here is Choose Life, not in the anti-abortion sense but in the carpe diem sense. Jim Carrey plays a sad man who basically does nothing but sit in his apartment until he must say yes to everything, and then he really starts to live.
For reasons I won’t get into, I spent a lot of time last weekend thinking about death. But in some weird Pavlovian response, my thoughts kept turning to Jim Carrey and Yes Man. Ridiculous! Honestly. And yet, there is something in that silly movie that smacks death right in the face, and some message that is comforting when you are thinking the grimmest thoughts.
Lately I have also been hooked on Little Dorrit on PBS, an 8-hour series that has both captivated me and just increased my crush on Matthew Macfadyen, the actor I’m hoping my son begins to admire, assuming this Jim Carrey thing ever wears off. And yet I think Yes Man has given me a perspective that Dickens hasn’t. Is this possible? What does it mean? I’m really almost afraid to think.