Movies serve a rare social function in that they teach normal people how not to be assholes. Every year a new generation of assholes gets born, and without cinematic examples of what an asshole looks like, how you can avoid being an asshole, and what happens to your asshole if you don’t, the transformation from Fred Savage to Daniel Stern simply would not be possible for many young people.

Problem is, these movies become instantly boring and annoying to those who’ve already learned the lesson, so making them is kind of a thankless task. It really doesn’t matter how many times I save the world from bad husbands, Roger Ebert will never like me. That’s okay. I came on this show to win, bitch, not to make friends, slut.

So here are the rules. They’re pretty simple, but apparently people have a difficult time with them:

1. Don’t be poor. But once you’re rich, you need to stop working and spend more time with your family.

Those are the rules.

I do these kinds of movies all the time. The template’s impossible to fuck up, so I can pretty much direct them from home and spend more time drinking to Belushi oblivion with my kids.

This one’s called Yes Man. It stars Jim Carrey as a loan giver-outer named Bruce Almightythen. Bruce is sort of a bummer to be around because he says ‘no’ to everything. Whether you really need a favor or you just want to go out and have a beer, Bruce will excuse himself from your future company. Not only that, he’ll lie through his teeth doing it. Actually, because of this funny thing he does sometimes, he might even lie to you through his butt-hole’s teeth. Everyone I’m sure has a friend or two like this. Their called married people. Take my wife. PLEASE!!!

Bruce isn’t a married people, but he used to be. His ex-wife, played by Maura Tyranny, got stuck with the kid. Bruce lives in one of those bachelor apartments with brick walls that realtors couldn’t get rid of after Friends was cancelled. He kind of just hangs out and watches movies every night. The film posits this as a bad thing, which must be why we didn’t get any of that all important Geek Dollar at the box office.

One day Bruce’s friends get sick of his shit and force him to attend a “Yes Man” seminar hosted by the usually dignified Terence Stamp. The actor is named Terence; his character is named Terrence. People often accuse me of being a hack, artistically-retarded director, but until they can figure out why I added that extra “R”, I will continue to be misunderstood by idiots. I got multitudes.

Anyway, Terence yells at Bruce a little and suddenly he becomes a Yes Man, which means he absolutely cannot say “No” to anything. If he does, God pisses on his face.

Meanwhile, his brat kid is all upset that Bruce is missing his birthday. For the first year ever, he holds back his wish to be Michael Jackson and instead wishes his fucking dickhead dad would stop lying all the time. Ironically, he turns into Michael Jackson right there and then.

So now Bruce has to say “Yes” to everything, and he also can’t tell any lies. This film will be EXACTLY as funny as you found that sentence. I’m laughing still.

Let’s see…what all happens?  Bruce lets all kinds of new experiences move him. He learns to fly. He learns Korean. He learns the guitar. He learns to drink Red Bull.

Sexual hijinks ensue as well. At work he pretends someone asked him, “He Bruce, wanna look at some Milf porn?” and ends up with bigger penis pills, an Iranian wife who’s hilariously obsessed with golden showers, and about 20 PC’s worth of computer viruses. Also, he gets a blowjob from an old lady. When she puts her dentures away in preparation it’s funny because we’ve all seen that joke 100 times before and, as Kevin Smith says, “Comedy is repetition.”

But this new lifestyle causes problems too. For instance, Michael Jack-son asks if he wants to come over. He can’t say “No” because he’s not allowed to. And he can’t say “Yes” because that’d be a lie. In situations like this, I just let Jim Carrey flail around and contort his face for five minutes or so. Shit that was funny ten years ago is bound to be funny today, right? Right, Kevin Smith?

Eventually, his “Yes” ways bring him to a girl, played by Zooey Dachshund. I’d call her a Manic Pixie Dream Girl, but Bruce isn’t really the depressed, broody type, so I’ll just call her a dumb cunt instead. She’s in this band called Irony is Dead (Just Kidding, We’re Actually Called “Hey, That’s My Bike.”) Their five fans know them as IID(JK,WAC”H,TMB”). He got there because some cackling black dude on the street cracked open a bar door and asked, “Hey Man, you wanna hear the worst shit ever?”

Of course she’s a spontaneity-loving firecracker of a lady. And of course she’s attracted to his spontaneity-spewing lifestyle. They fall for each other instantly even though he’s forty-nine and she’s only forty-teen. Within twenty minutes they’re already at “I love you.” Two minutes after that, she asks if she can move in with him. Uh-oh, Bruce! Predicament! Can’t say “No!” but also not ready to kick out awesome Iranian Golden Shower lady! What to do? Time to flail around and contort some face! (Fun fact: while filming this scene, Jim Carry squeezed his face so hard that three of his ribs broke while Marilyn Manson’s inexplicably grew back.)

Through his contortions, she finds out that he’s only saying “Yes” to everything because he belongs to a cult. And he’s only super honest because of magic. And that’s not his real junk-size. She gets pretty pissed and says “NO!” to ever seeing him again.

Bruce responds by saying “NO!” to life. He walks the ledge of a big building, totally prepared to jump. But then God himself shows up and talks him down by playing 3rd Eye Blind’s “Semi-Charmed Life.” Once safely inside, God pisses on his face. “I’d done told ya’s punk ass dat wuz gunna happen, Honky Deigo Essay.” (God is played by R. Kelly.)

Bruce admits that he fucked up and wishes he could get everything back to the way it was before he made that girl mad (he can’t quite remember her name). God’s like, “I’ve given you so many chances, Bruce Alrightythen. First, I made you say “Yes” to everything. Then, I granted that gay kid’s wish to make you honest. Then I let you have my powers for a day and you didn’t even know it. You’re a rubber-face disgrace.

“But I like you, so I tell you what: if you really want to go back to that moment in time, you can use this remote control I have which lets you treat life like a dumb TV show.”

Bruce take the remote control and fast forwards to the part of the movie where he learns how to be a good person and love his kid and get that girl to like him again. We don’t have to watch it, and he don’t have to live it.

After that, he lives happily ever after. There’s even a post-credit scene where he’s still living happily ever after. And there’s deleted scenes of it on the DVD. And it actually became a TV show where you just watch him living happily ever after. Bruce doesn’t know we’re all watching him live out his happy life. When he does figure it out, it’ll probably make a pretty compelling movie as he tries to break free. If he does get out, we’ll just wipe his memory. That’ll probably make a decent movie, too. Bruce is fucked.

(three stars)