TCL Movie guy, Paul McGuire Grimes from Paul’s Trip to the Movies, reviews new streaming options for the weekend.
YES DAY (Netflix)
Say yes to Yes Day, the new family comedy coming to Netflix on March 12. It stars Jennifer Garner and Edgar Ramirez as Allison and Carlos Torres. Throughout the opening narration, we learn that Allison and Carlos were “Yes” people. It was the theme of their relationship until they had kids and “No” become part of their job as parents. They begin to realize from their three kids that maybe they’ve been too strict and that always saying “No” isn’t the right answer either. One of the kid’s teachers tells them about “Yes Day” where the family gets together to have fun, say yes to any challenge, and have a whole day together.
-Based on the popular children’s book by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld
-There is a need for short, energetic family movies that don’t feel dumbed down or too unrealistic. While certain challenges in this film may seem a little extravagant, there’s an admirable lesson to be had for parents and children.
-Yes Day excels at presenting a mixed race family mirroring so many families across our country.
-The ideas behind Yes Day promote family together time and forces everyone to get along leading to creativity, hard work, and hopefully fun as each family member gets to say yes to something with certain parameters and boundaries along the way.
-Yes Day is only 90 minutes moving from one challenge to the next as the Torres family has five tasks to check off their list. It can’t all be fun and games as there are roadblocks along the way that test the kids and the parents bringing out some embarrassing and immature behavior.
-I don’t have kids yet, but apparently the concept of a Yes Day is popular, and Jennifer Garner has done it with her family. Garner is one of the film’s producers as well and perfectly fits this kind of role.
-It was a pleasant surprise to see Edgar Ramirez take on a family comedy as I’m so used to seeing him take on heavy material like the TV limited series The Undoing and American Crime Story.
-It’s evident that everyone on the film enjoyed making it and believes in the messages of coming together as a family even if this is a little more elaborate than your Yes Day may be.
RATING: 3 out of 5 TICKET STUBS
Tom Holland goes from geeky teen to tormented vet as Cherry. Cherry’s life choices take him from one tragic move to the next. His college days were filled with panic attacks, turbulent relationships, and no money. He decides to join the Army as a medic after eloping with his girlfriend Emily. His days in the army severely damage Cherry leaving him with horrible PTSD followed by drug addiction and string of bank robberies in an attempt to fuel his addiction and money problems.
-Based on the novel by Nico Walker
-Tom Holland re-teams with his Avengers directors Anthony and Joe Russo for Cherry. This film very much feels like a specific departure for all three of them to prove they can bring more to the table than Marvel stories.
-The film is structured into five parts with a prologue and epilogue. Yes, it is as long as it sounds clocking in at 2 hours and 20 minutes. I generally appreciated the time it takes in telling Cherry’s story giving an in-depth approach to the various chapters in his life. That all comes to a crashing halt when we get to Chapter 5 which is titled “Dope Life”. This is when we find Cherry deep into addiction and robbing banks. It feels hokey compared to Cherry’s days in college or his time serving in the military.
-Drug addiction shouldn’t equate to edgy material, but this is where we feel everyone trying the hardest to prove themselves. The scenes are rightfully hard to watch as heroine does brutal damage to the mind and body. Frankly, there’s nothing new to be had here as there are countless movies about addiction or even bank heists.
-I won’t spoil the epilogue, but for me, that’s the story that should have been told. We don’t see that story enough, and yet it’s told here as a montage.
-The Russo Brothers supply Cherry with an added visual style using a plethora of artistic devices like voice over narration, breaking the fourth wall and addressing the audience, slow-mo, freeze frames, color saturation, black and white, and various aspect ratios. There’s too much of that going on and hinders the storytelling.
-The pairing of Tom Holland and Ciara Bravo provide the film with a fall of innocence feel, and Holland does an admirable job of leaving Peter Parke/Spider-Man behind. I was invested in him as an actor here watching him navigate the complexities of Cherry. He felt honest and in the moment when the story didn’t always provide that.
RATING: 2.5 out of 5 TICKET STUBS