Chick Flick 101
Just Say Yes feels like a patchwork of all the other cheesy romcoms you’ve ever seen. Every trope, every cliché, every awkwardly contrived (but humorous nonetheless) joke is here, wrapped up in a 90 minute girl-power flick.
Despite all that, Just Say Yes is oddly charming, armed with a decent pacing and a colourful group of characters at its core. Sure, it’s not particularly original but this Dutch picture is a fun, vibrant movie nonetheless and perfect for a Friday-night flick with the girls.
The movie itself revolves around hopeless romantic Lotte. She’s desperate to get married and after 5 years with her partner Alex, he finally pops the question. The only trouble is, he’s getting cold feet and calls off the wedding – and their relationship – while they’re both at work. To make matters worse, this devastating break-up is aired to millions of people watching on-air. Predictably, Lotte finds herself down in the dumps.
Thankfully, new guy Chris is there to save the day. He decides to work with Lotte, transforming her into a much more desirable woman. In doing so, he intends to help make her former groom realize what he’s missing and come running back. It’s a simple enough plot – and a painfully cliched one too. You already know what direction this film is going within the first 20 minutes.
Alongside this main plot line are several other sub-plots, some more important and interesting than others. Each of Lotte’s main group of friends have problems, including singleton Kim and her stuck-up sister Estelle.
Estelle is also desperate for a picture perfect life, and that comes in the form of a happily-ever-after with boyfriend John. When he proposes – right on the eve of Lotte seeing her own wedding go up in smoke – our protagonist inevitably becomes jealous. All of this builds up to a dramatic third act, where emotions come tumbling out.
Along the way, Just Say Yes does everything it can to pepper in as many vibrant visual cues as possible. There’s some chunky pink expository text, montages, narration and even more montages. In fact, this movie at times feels like it’s half-montage.
While some work quite well, other times it needlessly slows down the picture to a crawl. Did we really need a 10 second chicken dance in here? What about a montage several seconds after the previous one? Well, we’re going to get them anyway.
The actual structure of the movie is quite good though and props to the editors for that, as it does help inject a bit of originality. The opening shots show our runaway bride Lotte, complete with panda eyes and a messed up dress.
Sitting on a bench, she happens upon a crude weed-smoker who agrees to listen to her story. This then cuts us back in time, detailing the moments leading up to this disastrous wedding. There’s certainly nods to Forrest Gump here and using that movie in the same sentence as chick flick is not something I ever thought I’d write in my lifetime!
Just Say Yes is not perfect, in fact a lot of its run-time is clichéd and full of unimaginative tropes we’ve all come to expect. The misunderstandings, awkward situational comedy, fall-outs and subsequent happy endings are all here, wrapped up with a neat Dutch bow. However, there’s also some nice moments here too, driven forward by the fact Lotte is a really likable protagonist.
There is absolutely nothing original or unique here but equally nothing awful or off-putting either. This is your typical Netflix chick-flick; comfort food full of cheese.