by Ridhima Vakkalagadda (‘24) | March 29, 2021
The one word “no” is what most parents tell their children all the time. Most people are very familiar with this word, and they usually despise it until they become parents and start the whole idea of “no!” again. This idea of “no!” is what starts Yes Day.
The movie starts with two characters, Allison and Carlos, who used to say yes to everything; they eventually marry each other a few years after meeting. However, after they had kids, all of those yes’s turned into no’s. Allison is usually the one who says no to the kids, and Carlos never asserts his leadership, making Allison frustrated that she is always the “bad cop” in their house. Allison realizes her kids see her as a dictator, so with the advice of a friend, they decide to have a Yes Day: a 24-hour time period where they have to say yes to anything their children ask. The parents present this idea to their kids: Katie, Nando, and Ellie, and they obviously agree. But to make it a deserved day, the parents set some rules: the kids must earn a Yes Day by staying out of trouble, doing their chores, and doing well in school. Katie, the oldest child, makes her own rule stating that if the parents can’t last the entire day, she can go to a music festival without her mom. After an agreement, the kids finish their tasks, leading to the big day: Yes Day.
Through a whirlwind of chaos, fun, and excitement, the parents make it through Yes Day with a few minor incidents. In the middle of the day, at a theme park, Allison sees Katie text her friend saying that they would go to the music festival and meet up with some boys. This incident leads Allison to call off the deal, saying she would go with Katie instead. Katie becomes angry, unable to accept her mom’s decision. Allison eventually feels guilty and tries to win a stuffed animal at a booth for her, but when the parents get into an argument over the toy with another person, they are arrested. While their parents are in jail, the children sneak away. While Nando and Ellie have a huge party at their house, Katie goes to the music festival with her friend.
When the two parents are released from jail and realize their kids are missing, they split up to stop the chaos. Carlos heads home to stop the party, and Allison tries to find Katie at the music festival. When Carlos reaches home and sees the damage, he finally decides to step up and tell everyone at the party to clean up and his children to change their behavior.
Meanwhile, at the music festival, Katie starts to feel uncomfortable, and when she is alone and her phone dies, she begins panicking. Thankfully, Allison reaches in time and finds Katie by climbing on stage and singing a song she used to sing her when she was little. After the two are reunited, they are invited to sing a song on stage with H.E.R., a famous R&B artist who cameoed in the movie. They then return home to reunite with the rest of their family. In my opinion, I felt that this movie lived up to my expectations. It was a new way of looking at the typical parent-child relationship, and I thoroughly enjoyed watching it. The end was a bit cliché with the whole “extremely sorry kids and parents who were right” idea, but I enjoyed the movie and would recommend it to others for a fun family watch.