Yes Day starts off sort of charming, with Jennifer Garner as Allison Torres. Allison is stuck in a rut of sorts--she was once a fun, adventurous person before she had three children, and now her life seems to revolve around telling them no. Allison and her husband Carlos (Edgar Ramirez) decide to try something different for a change--saying yes to their kids' wishes no matter the request for one day.
As a whole, this family night film is best watched by the younger audience. Some of the plot was watered down and somewhat irritating, mixed with a little bit of dry humor. It wasn't funny, but it was funny. This movie addresses a lot of things that are happening today in society. For example, the fact that Katie Torres (Jenna Ortega) kept insisting that she was a child at 12, but now she's grown at age 14, shows how there aren't really preteen age ranges anymore. The younger generations seem to be skipping it all together. You're a child at one age and then and adult at another.
Another example is when Allison goes looking for a job, and her boss tells her, "I'm looking for some entitled millennial, who I wouldn't mind keeping until 10 every night. Who I could watch cry, while she eats her gluten-free burrito and hashtags, 'hurt feelings, this job is so unfair.' I wouldn't want to do that to you. I like you too much." Of course, by this he means "I want a child I can push around to do things that I don't want to do, and things that I should be paying them for, but won't. I can't do that to you because you're an adult and you would say something back to me. I don't want the headache." Teen workers get mistreated on a daily basis at work by managers, and when they become a problem by speaking up for themselves, the corporation will fire and replace them with ease.
Allison went against her natural instinct and finally said yes, and everyone was surprised--including herself. Then she surprised the audience again when she enforced certain conditions and situations in order to achieve Yes Day. The rules that needed to be met were inadvertently good for the children, as well as herself. Things got done around the house, and the kids' grades went up. The more anticipation for Yes Day to arrive, the better behaved the children got. They worked together, and formulated a solid plan.
While Jennifer Garner's role did not disappoint, Edgar Ramirez's role did. One second he is likable, while the next second the audience is wondering why he is there. From the beginning he was already coming out of the gate wrong. He had plenty of time to prepare and get all his business handled before Yes Day came around, yet when the children woke them up, demanding both parent's cell phones, he looked confused and unorganized. Even Allison had to tell him, "You knew to be prepared." He was involved, but only halfway. Carlos took Allison for granted. She was the stay at home enforcer mom, so he didn't really have to deal with the kids all day. He got to come home and say yes to everything, making him appear like the hero. When the time came to live up to his name, he failed on multiple occasions. Not only could he not even follow the no cell phone rule, he went out of his way to make up an excuse about how to get out of the rest of the day.
Once again Allison, the true heroine of this lighthearted comedy, set the standards. She changed number four on the list to something that surprised the kids, then turned to her husband and said, "Oh, and your dad has something he wants to say," knowing he planned on quitting the game. It was quite funny how she threw him under the bus, but can you really expect anything less from Super Mom?
Allison Torres outplayed her daughter during capture the flag. She went outside dressed ridiculously, brought clean clothes, and even let her car get destroyed all for the sake of Yes Day to be a success. The only time we saw her fall from grace was when she went through her daughters phone and confronted her. That part didn't make much sense, because the entire day, she kept saying, "I won't lose." If she was that confident, and she actually did make it until the end, why did she not just wait it out? She would have ended up going to the concert with her oldest daughter regardless.
Katie did have a point when she said, "I can't help what someone sent to my phone," and she was right, but her mother wasn't listening to her. Like most adults, she acted rash without understanding the situation entirely. Katie didn't even seem to know about the boys meeting up with them at the concert until after her mother said something. By making a scene, violating her trust, and doubting her, Allison unintentionally reverted back into the antagonist, pushing Katie to defy her all the more.
Clearly, in the end, Allison raised a responsible child because she knew that her "friend" was doing something that made her uncomfortable and turned away from her. No worries, Super mom was already one step ahead of her. It all turned out great at the end because they both ended up on H.E.R's performance stage. Though the ending was highly unrealistic, it did make for a nice wrap up of a strained mother daughter relationship.