Who is Jennifer Garner, National Treasury on “Yes Day” on Netflix
Director Miguel Arteta, standing center, appears on the set of his film "Yes Day" with actors Jennifer Garner, seated left, and Edgar Ramirez. (John P. Johnson/Netflix via AP)

National Treasury on Netflix’s film

In Yes Day, a new family-friendly movie that began streaming on Netflix today, Jennifer Garner stars as a mom. And what a mom she is! Her character, Allison, is a woman who once defined her life by saying “yes,” until she had three children and had to start saying “no.” When she realizes she doesn’t like the person she’s become, she and her husband (Edgar Ramírez) decide to try a “Yes Day:” for 24 hours, they will say “yes” to all of their kids’ demands (with a few ground rules, of course).

From the very first scene in Yes Day, Garner is a delight. Her montage of saying “No,” fifty times a day to her kids—which include “Absolutely not,” “Nu-uh-uh-uh-uh,” and my personal favorite, “Nope on a rope,”—is laugh-out-loud hilarious. Her attempt at dancing like a youth is a riot. And it’s not just the funny moments, either—when her face falls after her daughter (Jenna Ortega) tells her she’s not fun, my heart ached. No one should make Jennifer Garner’s face look like that. Who are these ungrateful kids, anyway? Don’t they know how lucky they are to have Jennifer Garner as their mom?

This hardly the first time Garner has stolen hearts as an on-screen mother. Remember that scene in 2018’s Love, Simon, when her fictional gay son came out to her? Remember how she said that she could feel him holding his breath, and now it was OK to exhale? And remember how every single queer person who saw that was reduced to a blubbering mess? Yeah. That. Fun fact: that monologue—arguably the best in the entire film—was not in the original script until Garner suggested her character needed a moment to connect with her son. Again: We do not deserve her.

Directed by Miguel Arteta, with a screenplay from Justin Malen, Yes Day is based on Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s popular children’s book of the same name. While the movie itself is uneven, kids will surely love it, and the film is worth it for adults just for Garner. And it may enhance your enjoyment to know that Garner, who also produced the film, hosts her own annual Yes Days for her children. Of course she does.

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Jennifer Garner Bio and Career

Over the years, Garner had been steadily climbing her way to A-list status. For years, she's starred in movies and shows that proved her flexibility as an actress, from roles in comedies to those in dramas. She's also a Golden Globe winner, mother of three, activist, and a viral meme.

Jennifer Garner was born on April 17, 1972. Christopher Polk/Getty Images
Jennifer Garner was born on April 17, 1972. Christopher Polk/Getty Images.

Movies and TV Shows

'Alias'

In 2000 Garner earned notice for her recurring role on the hit show Felicity, and the show's producer subsequently cast her as the lead in the ABC drama Alias. It was her starring turn as CIA agent Sydney Bristow that made the actress into an overnight success, earning her a loyal following of viewers and critical praise. Garner won a Golden Globe award for her performance on the show, and earned multiple Emmy nominations as well.

'13 Going on 30,' 'Daredevil,' 'Elektra'

Garner was then cast in such feature films as Steven Spielberg's Catch Me If You Can, co-starring Leonardo DiCaprio; Daredevil, co-starring Ben Affleck; and 13 Going On 30, with Mark Ruffalo. In January 2005, she starred in the Daredevil spinoff, Elektra.

'The Kingdom,' 'Juno'

In 2007 Garner appeared in the action film The Kingdom, which addressed U.S. conflicts with the oil industry in Saudi Arabia. That same year, she joined Ellen Page, Michael Cera and Jason Bateman in the critically acclaimed indie comedy Juno.

'The Ghosts of Girlfriends Past,' 'Dallas Buyers Club,' 'Alexander'

Garner starred in the 2009 romantic comedy The Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, with Matthew McConaughey, and the 2011 reboot of Arthur, with Russell Brand. She also played Dr. Eve Saks in the Oscar-nominated 2013 biopic Dallas Buyers Club, opposite McConaughey and Jared Leto. In 2014 Garner's film projects included Draft Day, Men, Women & Children and the film adaptation of the popular children's book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

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