For stay-at-home mum, Allison Torres (Jennifer Garner), the theme of her life used to be ‘yes’. Yes to skydiving, yes to rock climbing, yes to every adventure that came her way. But when she and husband Carlos (Edgar Ramirez) had children, everything changed. To keep Katie (Jenna Ortega), Nando (Julian Lerner) and Ellie (Everly Carganilla) from ramming things in electrical sockets, falling off the roof or injuring themselves with science experiments, life is mostly ‘no’.
After a parent-teacher conference in which Allison is portrayed as a dictator, she and Carlos decide to try a ‘Yes Day’. The idea is that after they set some ground rules, they say yes to everything their children request for 24 hours. Katie, who desperately wants to go to a festival that her mother doesn’t approve of, makes a bet with her mum that Allison will never be able to say yes for the whole day. And then Katie and her siblings concoct all sorts of activities Katie is sure Allison will refuse.
When tensions flare and plans go awry, Allison discovers that her daughter is mature in ways she never imagined. And Katie learns that sometimes ‘no’ is the best answer she could ever get.
Losing your identity to a role; good parent versus bad parent; the evolution of families; children being rude to parents
Yes Day has some violence. For example:
- There’s a war game in which characters use water balloons filled with Kool-Aid to fight each other. Characters hit, overtake and knock each other to the ground as teams try to win flags.
- Violent birds attack Carlos. He has to go to hospital.
- An ambulance officer offers to beat up Carlos for Allison.
- Allison and another character fight over a stuffed gorilla, damaging a stand and horrifying onlookers in the process.
- Carlos gets kicked in the crotch.
- Boys have a pillow fight.
- Partygoers damage a house by knocking over the TV, damaging and breaking things, jumping on furniture, spraying soda everywhere and filling the house with foam.
- Carlos gets knocked off his feet as someone surfs down the stairs and straight into him.
Yes Day has some sexual references. For example, a fictitious TV show called Insatiable Island is described as being sexy and romantic.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
Yes Day shows some use of substances. For example, a person at a concert seems to be under the influence of something. She grabs Katie and calls her by another name. Other people at the same concert appear to be either drunk or high.
Nudity and sexual activity
Yes Day has some nudity and sexual activity. For example:
- Three men pull up their shirts to show Allison their ‘ripped abs’.
- Carlos and the children demonstrate ‘twerking.’
- Carlos and Allison kiss several times.
The following products are displayed or used in Yes Day: Magic Mountain, Kool-Aid and Ford. Also, a couple of characters refer to The Bachelor TV show.
Yes Day has some mild coarse language and insults in this movie, including ‘shut up’, ‘sucks, ‘wuss’, ‘skeegy’ and ‘smart Alec’.
Ideas to discuss with your children
Yes Day is a family movie based on the book by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. With a few ground rules, the parents in this story have to say yes to everything their children request for a whole day. This movie features a wonderful cast and a predictable but fun plot.
Because of some questionable content and the possibility that children might copy some of the activities and behaviour in the story, we don’t recommend Yes Day for younger children. Rather, it’s best enjoyed by older children and parents.
These are the main messages from Yes Day:
- Despite all the ups and downs of everyday life, families share an unbreakable bond.
- Getting to do everything you want isn’t always as fun as you might imagine.
Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include creativity, enthusiasm, loyalty, responsibility, communication, empathy, teamwork and cooperation.
Yes Day could also give you the chance to talk with your children about real-life issues, like the consequences of:
- sneaking off to a concert even though you know your parents won’t approve
- having a party without adults present
- doing dangerous things like mixing chemicals, tying a sibling to a makeshift rocket, or trying to abseil from your second-storey bedroom using sheets
- following your friends even if they’re doing something dangerous
- being disrespectful to your parents.