Photo: ‘Yes Day’/Netflix
Unknown to closed-off me, the term “yes day” is a parenting hack in which parents allow their children a single day with zero restrictions as long as they stay within a permitted zone of affordability, capability, and no future requests. So, sorry Tommy, but we cannot buy Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory and fill it with skittles.
Directed by Miguel Arteta, the Netflix family comedy film ‘Yes Day‘ follows the eccentric and open-minded Torres family on a 24 hour day of accepting every wish their three children scheme up. With the children’s acceptance of their day of chaotic freedom, Torres’ “yes day” begins with the smallest child who insists that her parents transform into glitter, ponytail clownlike heroes as they venture out to the neighborhood Korean ice cream shop.
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But, as filmmaking storylines would have it, things quickly go array, and the day would not go picture perfect. Arrests caused by a gorilla, hospital visits caused by birds, and doomsday filled with bubbles later; ‘Yes Day’ plays into the commonly used family movie set-up of inner family issues mixed with chaotic younger children and the older misunderstood teen. All of that then intertwines with the parent’s failure, followed by realization mostly done in a perplexed state and ending with a good ole’ family hug.
Free Spirited Grown-Ups: Do They Exist?
Coming from a restricted family who loves me unconditionally, they did not know how to show a side of themselves that might have been there before they had children. That carefree, unconcerned, and fun side of a person that is in all of us that is until the real-world pains us. For me, ‘Yes Day’ did more than entertain me for 1 hour and 26 minutes, but rather it took me into this imaginary world where parents become those people whom they used to be. Doing embarrassing things like having diarrhea after overeating ice cream to capture the flag mixed with water balloons fight; that carefree part in our souls that we are taught to lock away because it is not normal for someone older to participate in.
The addition of culture and diversity in the film is incredibly heartwarming and refreshing, something we need more in the film industry. The inclusion of languages amongst the Torres family and varying diversities amongst the casting is definitely a driving factor that makes this film more memorable.
As said by Garner in ‘Yes Day,’ “‘Yes’ was like the theme of our relationship, — Although having kids is the best thing that ever happened to us, ‘no’ became the new ‘yes.'” The film sets itself on the foundation that Allison and Carlos, the parents, were at one point in their lives completely free and would say “yes” to practically anything. That is until they had children, and everything became no in fear that their children would injure themselves or break their hearts. The film’s importance was to show the children that when they grow older and no longer need protection from their parents, they will always have someone to consider a friend.
And for the children to understand why there are boundaries, and sometimes parents need to say “no,” but there are also times when a parent must retract their worries and say “yes.” The film was enjoyable because it was more than blatant that the cast was having just as much if not more fun making the film. While they are “playing” a family, the Torres family truly felt genuine, and the amount of carefree release that existed between them was enlightening to watch.
‘Yes Day’ Feels Like A “Real” Family
Comedy mixed with empathy seems to be a liking for Miguel Arteta with his past works, including one of his early-on directorial pieces with the 2000s R-rated comedy/drama ‘Chuck & Buck’ starring Mike White (‘School of Rock’), Chris Weitz (‘About a Boy’), and more. In 2017, directed by Arteta and written by his former co-worker, Mike White, came the comedy/drama ‘Beatriz at Dinner,’ starring Salma Hayek (‘Frida’), John Lithgow (‘Cliffhanger’), Connie Britton (‘American Ultra’), and more.
Another commonality with Arteta is that when he finds a liking when working with an actor, actress, or other, he tends to work with them again. In 2020 came the girl empowerment comedy ‘Like a Boss,’ starring Tiffany Haddish (‘Girls Trip’), Rose Byrne (‘Insidious’), Salma Hayek, and more. Arteta did a fantastic job with the concept he had of creating a family-oriented comedy that focused on becoming a parent and remaining that free soul.
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Having already worked with Miguel Arteta for the family comedy ‘Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day,’ Jennifer Garner and Arteta seem to have curated another family film that makes one feel good on a bad day. Garner has a side to herself that releases her childlike inner acting that fits quite perfectly for films like ‘Yes Day.’ At the same time, she is portraying the hovering mother of three, who is also trying not to get in the way of everyone’s fun. Her consistently childlike approach allows her humor to be more realistic because it cancels the distinction between those two personalities. Every “yes” is enlaced with concern, and every smile is hidden with worry.
For Edgar Ramírez, this role is much more out of his previous acting range than the rest of the cast. With films such as ‘Gold,’ ‘Point Break,’ or ‘Deliver Us from Evil,’ Ramírez is most categorized as a crime, action, or adventure actor. Although from the beginning of ‘Yes Day,’ as Ramírez twerks and playfully interacts with the cast’s little ones, he is nothing but the intimidating actor we have come to know. Instead, he is a fun-loving lawyer father of three who frees himself from the authoritarian role he portrays at work when he is at home with his wife and children.
The children of the cast work incredibly well together, seemingly pulling off a harmonious and realistic family. Jenna Ortega, who portrays the teenage daughter, Katie Torres, has and continues to land very good roles in pieces such as ‘Iron Man 3,’ ‘Insidious: Chapter 2,’ ‘Jane the Virgin,’ but what has quite possibly been the light to the rocket of work she has put together was for her supporting role in the second season of Netflix’s crime/drama show ‘You.’ Ortega’s past works include majority in favoring towards a younger crowd. Hence, a role in this family-oriented film was not out of her league. The family’s other roles include Everly Carganilla, who portrays the littlest of the family, Ellie Torres, and Julian Lerner, who portrays Nando Torres, the pre-teen mess. While everyone works harmoniously, the relation between Katie and her mother, Allison, seems to be the two leading forces that drive this multiracial family comedy.
Where To Watch ‘Yes Day’
‘Yes Day’ releases for streaming in most countries on March 12, 2021, available for watching through the streaming platform Netflix. Rated PG for some rude and suggestive material, and brief language.
Where To Find The Stars
In the post-production process, Jennifer Garner can next be seen in Shawn Levy’s ‘The Adam Project,’ alongside Ryan Reynolds, Mark Ruffalo, Zoe Saldana, and more. As said on IMDb about ‘The Adam Project,’ “A man must travel back in time to get help from his 13-year-old self.”
Expected July 30, 2021, Edgar Ramírez can next be seen in Jaume Collet-Serra’s ‘Jungle Cruise,’ alongside Dwayne Johnson, Emily Blunt, and more. As said on IMDb about ‘Jungle Cruise,’ “Based on Disneyland’s theme park ride where a small riverboat takes a group of travelers through a jungle filled with dangerous animals and reptiles but with a supernatural element.”
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Expected January 14, 2022, Edgar Ramírez can be seen in Simon Kinberg’s ‘The 355,’ alongside Jessica Chastain, Lupita Nyong’o, Diane Kruger, and more. As said on IMDb about ‘The 355,’ “When a top-secret weapon falls into mercenary hands, a wild card CIA agent joins forces with three international agents on a lethal mission to retrieve it, while staying a step ahead of a mysterious woman who’s tracking their every move.”
In the post-production process, Jenna Ortega can next be seen in Megan Park’s ‘The Fallout,’ alongside Julie Bowen, Shailene Woodley, Maddie Ziegler, and more. As said on IMDb about ‘The Fallout,’ “High schooler Vada navigates the emotional fallout she experiences in the wake of a school tragedy. Relationships with her family, friends, and view of the world are forever altered.”
Expected January 14, 2022, Jenna Ortega can be seen in Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett’s ‘Scream‘ alongside Courteney Cox, Jack Quaid, and more. As said on IMDb about ‘Scream,’ “A new installment of the ‘Scream’ horror franchise will follow a woman returning to her home town to try to find out who has been committing a series of vicious crimes.”
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Isabella Brownlee is an experienced writer, video editor and filmmaker. She is currently a writer for Hollywood Insider, focusing on detailed and thought-provoking film reviews and articles discussing truth and impact in the film industry. Driven by self-awareness and unique perspectives, she takes utmost pride in providing others with emotionally impacted knowledge about the film industry. As a writer, her main goal is to connect with the audience and those who find themselves in the back of the bleachers unknown to anyone but beautifully aware of the world. In addition to her primary job functions, Isabella creates and edits videos/films personally and professionally. Aligning with Hollywood Insider’s mission of sharing impactful and influential content, Isabella hopes to enrich her readers with positivity and truth.