Four teenagers are sucked into a magical video game, and the only way they can escape is to work together to finish the game. (IMDb)
The in-video game premise is clever and fun (see the NPCs) but the stakes feel low, despite the limited lives and creepy (crawly) baddie, and the emotional arc is pretty weak too. More importantly though, the adventure-action is good, and the comedy is great (even if it slows down the pace a little too much at points); the four leads excel in their high-school personality roles and bring lots of laughs (Black as the stereotypical popular girl is a highlight, but they all have their moments).
A guy challenges himself to say “yes” to everything for an entire year. (IMDb)
The central motif is well developed, as Carrey’s charming Carl moves from melancholy conservatism to inspiring free-spirited-ness before a well-placed stick in the spokes adds nuance to the message (see the “no” in his ex’s apartment). The romance narrative isn’t as impressive; it’s formulaic, with a predictable fall out (the FBI twist that instigates it also seems far fetched), though Carrey and Deschanel have decent chemistry. Darby’s hilariously nerdy Norman is a notable supporting character.