Yes! Jennifer Garner’s latest family flick is finally coming to Netflix this month!
Titled YES DAY, this new film features Garner with Edgar Ramirez as they play Allison and Carlos– husband and wife who have been accustomed to saying “no” to their children’s requests. When one of their kids’ school project depicted Allison as a ‘dictator mom’ however, that served as their wake-up call, prompting the two to try the so-called Yes Day where for 24 hours, their kids will make the rules!
For 24 hours, mom and dad have to say “YES”— Netflix (@netflix) February 10, 2021
Jennifer Garner, Edgar Ramirez, and Jenna Ortega star in Yes Day — March 12 pic.twitter.com/TEPytS7MoG
We had the chance to (virtually) sit with Garner and Ramirez in a roundtable interview where they shared with us more information about the film and their personal takes on a Yes Day!
What would have been their ‘Big Asks’
In the film, Allison and Carlos’ three kids made a checklist of their ‘Big Asks’– the wildest requests they want to do on Yes Day. Asked what their Big Asks would have been if they’d had the chance for a Yes Day when they were kids, Jennifer Garner answered:
“It definitely would have been going to the grocery store and buying things like Doritos and Pringles and Froot Loops! My mom never let us have any of it. That would be one. I’m buying clothes… My mom made our clothes, I didn’t want that. I wanted all the store-bought clothes. I’m going to see a play or a ballet for sure. Having a party with my friends and flying kites, which we did do pretty often. So that would have been on there. And then a big dinner with my whole family. And actually, I would still like the same things!”
Meanwhile, Edgar Ramirez’s Big Asks didn’t seem to stray far from what he was able to do in the film, making their onscreen Yes Day somehow a delayed fulfillment of his childhood’s Big Asks!
“I would have loved what I got to do in the movie and the movie granted my ultimate childhood dream which was to eat endless amounts of ice cream,” shared Ramirez.
“I grew up in Venezuela, and there was this commercial from this ice cream brand. It was about this kid who was dressed as an adult [and] he goes to a restaurant, like a grown-up restaurant, and everybody’s looking at him and then he sits down. And then this waiter comes with scoops and scoops and scoops of ice cream. I was obsessed with that commercial. So when I read the script, I couldn’t believe it! And then, of course, we ate ice cream for three days. I loved it. That was my childhood dream come true.” The actor added.
Jennifer Garner’s real-life Yes Days
Having read Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s book from which the film is based, Jennifer Garner has also done Yes Days with her kids. According to the actress, their Yes Days were not as crazy as the Yes Day seen in the film, but after years of doing it, her kids’ requests have become more and more about “torturing” her.
“As they’ve gotten older, Yes Day is more and more about torturing me, and less and less about just breaking rules. So for example, they actually do my makeup and make me look crazy. And they do actually make me go out like that,” shared Garner.
“And they know that as I’ve gotten a little bit older, I’m more scared of heights than I ever was when I was younger. And so for example, they made me hold onto this wire at this place and I was pulled up and up and up a full story high. And then it was a slide that goes straight down and then out, and they made me do it! And I was at the top saying, ‘I don’t want to, guys, please I want to come back down’, and they said ‘It’s Yes Day, Mom.’ And I had to let go and follow the full story and then come out the bottom. So things like that. They torture me in their own ways.”
Garner on producing the film.
Jennifer Garner is also a producer of Yes Day. According to her, being a producer also gave her the chance to have some influence in the story, which she used knowing first-hand how it is being a parent of growing children.
“I wanted to produce this because it’s a story that’s about my life in a lot of ways. It’s about my experience as a mom and it’s so important to me that you get that right.
“For example, when we got the first draft of Yes Day, [the] teenage daughter was really snarky and not very nice. And the mom and she were really at each other’s throats. And my point was, that’s not the way it is. It’s much more [than that]. It’s about how hard it is to grow up, and how hard it is as a teenager, to need your mom a little less, and how hard it is as a mom for your teenager to need you a little less. That’s where the heartache is. And so I was really lucky that as a producer, I got to have some say in pieces of the story like that.”
Garner also made sure that the film had a diverse family, adding that getting to sit with Edgar Ramirez and talk him into doing the movie was the “biggest gift” to the film.
The imbalance between parents’ roles.
The film also touches on the roles and responsibilities between moms and dads, and the two stars mentioned how these roles are frequently imbalanced.
“I mean, it’s always been a lot for moms, there’s always been a lack of balance,” says Garner. “But that’s one of the things I love about this movie. And that was so important to Edgar. Before we ever started in our first conversation, Edgar said, ‘There’s got to be more to this movie than just kids and a mom and dad. There also has to be a love story in the middle of it.’ Edgar really fights for gender equality. And so we made it kind of one of the central stories of the film. I love that about Edgar, but I also love it about the movie, that in the middle of everything, this couple realizes how out of balance they are. And they really work to restore that.”
Edgar also explained that there must be gender equality in all aspects of the feminine life, including the responsibilities that partners share on being parents.
“You see in the movie how Jennifer’s character, Allison, is the one taking on the serious responsibilities. And the responsibility of raising children has to be shared, it has to be shared by all members of the parenthood. That is something that for us was very important.
“You can see the journey of Carlos, being comfortably [seated] in the backseat of the car, just watching his wife drive everything and taking the hard questions and having to say ‘no’. While he keeps being the fun dad and being popular, so I really felt on a personal level, I really feel very empathetic to Allison’s character. I’ve seen that a lot. I’m not a father on my own yet, but I’m a very involved, very present uncle and I have a lot of very close friends who are parents, and I can see that imbalance. And I think that if the movie can spark a little bit of a conversation within the families about the shared responsibility, then we’ll be happy.”
The meaning of organizing a Yes Day.
While Yes Day is a fun film, it also gives us a glimpse of both the pains and joys of raising a family. While organizing a Yes Day seemed to be a mixed bag of fun and chaos, Edgar Ramirez explains how there is something much more meaningful in such an event.
“I really hope that you organize a Yes Day with your family or with anyone you love, because we also think that any relationship that is meaningful to you is deserving of a Yes Day. And I guarantee you that when you organize it and you give it to somebody, you will realize that every ask has to do with quality time and undivided, devoted attention. That’s what they ask for. And that’s what we should give and that is the most beautiful thing that anyone can give to you– their time and their focus.”
On letting go of our growing kids.
What makes the film more heartfelt is seeing Allison’s struggles as she tries to accept that her daughter Katie is growing up and wants to start enjoying things on her own. When asked if she has some advice for parents when it comes to letting go of their children, Garner answered:
“No. I think it is a universal heartbreak. I really do. I just think your kids growing up and that you’re the age where you are, I’m there too, and I can tell you there’s nothing to do except cry a little bit and hopefully, laugh a little bit. And you know, if this movie captured that feeling for you, I have to say, selfishly, I’m really happy.”
Directed by Miguel Arteta, Yes Day also stars Jenna Ortega, Julian Lerner and Everly Carganilla. It premieres on Netflix this March 12.