Netflix’s Big Yes Day Scenes Jennifer Garner Says Are Based On Her Life

After Jennifer Garner became famous for kicking butt in action projects such as Alias and Elektra, the actress has since put priority on raising her three kids with co-parent Ben Affleck. Garner’s career is blooming now more than ever, and the importance of family to her has remained clear through her work, including her new comedy on Netflix, Yes Day.

Garner produced and starred in the family film about a couple who decide to say “yes” to everything their kids desire for 24 hours. Edgar Ramirez plays the actress’ husband in a household of five, including Jenna Ortega’s oldest teen daughter, middle son and young daughter. It closely echoes Garner’s own family unit, consisting of her new high schooler, 15-year-old Violet, 12-year-old Seraphina and nine-year-old Samuel.

When Garner spoke to CinemaBlend about Yes Day, she talked about making a family movie rooted in some of her own realities as a parent. In her words:

I made this movie and developed it with this awesome team because I wanted to bring joy into the world and because I felt like there wasn’t a family comedy out there that really reflected my own experiences as a mom – so this is all ripped from the headlines, it’s right from my life, a lot of it.

Being a mom is no easy task, and Yes Day really highlights how looking out for one’s kids all the time and doing what they think is right for them could stop them from truly enjoying parenthood and having solid relationships with their families. In the Netflix movie, Garner and Ramirez’s characters learn how to be kids again on their own, which is perhaps something the 48-year-old actress has had to learn herself as a mother.

Garner has said she finds the message of Yes Day especially relevant this year because the COVID-19 pandemic has caused parents to have to say “no” to their kids when it comes to simple elements of growing up like playing with their friends or doing other social events. 2020 was the ultimate year of “no,” which might be why a family movie like this might hit the right spot for its audience. CinemaBlend also spoke to Yes Day director Miguel Arteta, who broke down a few elements of the movie Garner inspired:

There’s definitely been eating ice cream for breakfast and most importantly pitching a tent in your backyard, playing a game of dominos. I think they’ve done that a few times and to her it’s very special because it just shows that the idea of Yes Day is if you’re together you can have fun doing anything.

How sweet! Yes Day also has Garner’s character and her family going through a carwash with the windows down, her young daughter doing her hair and makeup, competing in a major water balloon fight, getting competitive at a carnival and having a crazy house party. Overall, the movie has received mixed reviews from critics, with a more positive bent coming from audience reactions.

Moving forward, Garner has a few more family movies on the way. She just signed on to another Netflix movie called Family Leave, which is about a household that mysteriously gets body swapped with another one from the other side of the world. Garner will also reunite with her 13 Going On 30 co-star Mark Ruffalo for The Adam Project, alongside Ryan Reynolds. Yes Day is streaming on Netflix now.

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.