Yes Day is a laugh-out-loud funny look at something all kids wish for, and something that parents might find they enjoy too. Carlos and Allison have fun in their pre-parent days. Allison (called “Ally” by Carlos) line dances, travels on a bus with monks, and eventually rock climbs with Carlos. They even parachute out of a plane. During their wedding ceremony when they are asked if they take the other one to be their wedded spouse, Ally says, “Yes, yes!” and Carlos says, “Yes, yes, yes, yes!” However, by the time they become parents to three kids — Katie, Nando and Ellie — they (especially Ally) find themselves using the “no” word quite frequently.
It is now “no” in place of yes, especially during such times as when Nando ties rockets to his back, hoping to ignite them and to fly. And when he wants more cell phone time, Mom (Ally) uses a different version of no, which is: “Uh-uh, uh- uh, uh-uh, uh-uh!” She adds, “Not in a million years!”
When their kids want to go to a concert without a parental chaperone, Nando says, “No one wants to go to a music fest with their parent.” However, Mom and Dad are loyal, finding it difficult to do the things they want themselves as they always place family events first. In fact, when Carlos wants to go to the gym and says, “I need to keep sculpting the Carlos,” Mom points out a family commitment posted on the refrigerator. Chaos is a way of life in the Torres family, especially when moments occur like Nando’s exploding waffle volcano splatters Mom with batter.
Dad still tries to have fun, listening to “I’m a Gummy Bear” in the car with Ellie while driving her to school. However, Nando views Mom as a tyrant who always uses the “no” word, so he makes a video for a school project that compares her to Joseph Stalin and Mussolini. When his teachers call Ally and Carlos in to view the video, they are mortified and Mom can’t believe her eyes. Nando’s video says, “Big Mother is watching” and uses references from the 1984 novel by George Orwell.
When Mr. Deacon, a guidance counselor and P.E. teacher, overhears Ally and Carlos talking about it, he suggests they have a “Yes Day” for 24 hours. He tells them they must set a few ground rules — for example, the kids can’t ask for anything futuristic on the day or kill anyone! And they can’t do anything illegal, but they will hear the word “yes” spoken over and over on that day. When Katie calls Mom a “fun killer” at home, Ally says good night, hurt, and heads upstairs for bed. But when she spots a photo of herself on the wall, sky diving and smiling, she decides maybe it is time to let her guard down and have fun with her kids for a day. The kids have to earn the day by doing their homework and chores, but Yes Day is in their future!
Katie and Ally make a wager that Ally can’t make it through an entire Yes Day. Right from the start the fun kicks in when the family goes to an ice cream shop and they take on a challenge of eating a whole lot of ice cream in 30 minutes. If they do it, it’s free and if not, they will have to pay for the huge helpings of ice cream. Nando comments at one point that he has a “brain freeze” from eating so much ice cream. It goes down to the wire and Dad has to be the one to finish it off in time. Does he do it? We won’t spoil it for you but it’s a razor-close finish.
There are lessons to be learned in this movie. For example, the kids — and especially Katie — learn that there are reasons for rules and that it keeps life from blowing up with bad consequences. And the parents learn that they are doing the right things in their parenting, but that they can remember to have more fun in this once-in-a-lifetime journey with their kids. There are many fun scenes, including one in which Mom gets into a battle with another woman in a contest to win a big, pink stuffed gorilla. Mom wants to win it for Katie and the competition becomes fierce. And in another scene, a water balloon fight becomes unrestrained and competitive.
The popcorn and cotton candy are plentiful during Yes Day, but this seems like mere child’s play when Nando and Ellie head home to host a party. Let’s just say the suds and foam will be flowing through the house.
This movie has earned our Dove seal for Ages 12+, and parents may be fine with their mature kids a bit under 12 watching it. It’s educational as far as revealing human behavior and why there are rules, but it’s entertaining too.
The Dove Take:
This movie presents some lessons wrapped up in a lot of fun and funny moments.