Yes Day follows parents Jennifer Garner and Edgar Ramírez as they embark on their first ever ‘Yes Day’ with their three children. Apart from a few ground rules, these parents have to say ‘yes’ to almost anything their kids ask…and for 24 hours.
In this Netflix original, Jennifer Garner plays Allison, a stressed-out mother who is constantly saying “no” to everything her three children do, whilst Carlos (Edgar Ramírez) gets to be the fun dad. Their kids’ thoughts on their mum are exposed during an awkward yet hilarious parent-teacher evening: daughter Katie (Jenna Ortega) has written a haiku relating her mother to a captor, whilst her brother Nando (Julian Lerner) has made a video comparing his mum to Joseph Stalin.
The comedic value is irreplaceable and only escalates when an eavesdropping teacher recommends Allison and Carlos give their kids a ‘Yes Day’. From this point on, Allison lays out how the kids can earn their Yes Day—improving their grades, cleaning and tidying the house—before deciding on some all-important ground rules, such as the kids can’t ask for anything in the future, or go further than 20 miles from home. Excited for the day, the three kids plan out everything they want to do, making a list of their ‘5 Big Asks’ to complete in the day.
Based around both the children’s book Yes Day! by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, and the fact that Garner herself does annual Yes Days with her kids, the ingenious concept translates into a light-hearted, feel-good film.
As is inevitable with letting kids control the day, the day rapidly loses all sense of sanity and results in mayhem. In spite of this, the consequences of the day are easily cleaned up and sorted out, somewhat under-representing the chaos I feel would ensue after a day of parents saying ‘yes’ to almost everything they ask for. And whilst it’s true that Yes Day provides the relief that we’ve all been waiting for—a day of doing whatever we want certainly has its appeal right now—there are some scenes that seem irrelevant and fall a bit flat.
There aren’t any deeper issues or problems other than the strained mother-daughter relationship between Allison and Katie. This is exposed through Katie wanting to attend Fleek Festival without her mum, even though she’s only 14. While this isn’t quite the same as her going off on a holiday abroad or leaving home for university, this film still highlights the important role that mothers play, even if they want their children to be their babies for just a little bit longer.
Overall, Yes Day is positive, light-hearted and easy to watch, with a feel-good factor running throughout. It’s suitable for the whole family, and may even convince some to hold their own Yes Days every once in a while.
If you’re looking for something super easy to watch with the family, then this is the perfect film for you. With no deeper meanings, this family comedy is easy-going and relaxing. Yes Day is available to stream from Netflix now.
Words by Hannah Cochrane
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