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Liar Liar
Movie Stats & Links

Starring: Jim Carrey, Maura Tierney, Cary Elwes, Amanda Donohoe, Jennifer Tilly, Justin Cooper
MPAA Rated: PG-13
Released By: Universal Pictures
Kiddie Movie: Some jokes might go over the younger ones heads, and there are some swear words so it's your choice.
Date Movie: Sure.
Gratuitous Sex: Nope, just some innuendos and pushed-up breasts.
Gratuitous Violence: Only when Jim Carrey beats the crap out of himself in the bathroom.
Action: No "Die Hard" here.
Laughs: Lots of them.
Memorable Scene: In the courtroom when he can't lie, in the elevator with the new tenant, and his "roasting" of his co-workers.
Memorable Quote: Too many for my little brain to remember.
Directed By: Tom Shadyac
Produced By: Brian Grazer

Liar Liar
A Movie Review

MPAA Rated - PG-13

It's 1:26 Long

A Review by
The Dude on the Right
I remember seeing Jim Carrey when he was a relative nobody. It was right before "Ace Ventura - Pet Detective" opened, and he was doing his stand-up act for about 800 college students at my alma mater. His TV career was starting to get a little stale (just how many times could you laugh at his "Fire Marshall Bill" routine), but during that stand-up act he previewed that coming soon to a theater near you would be a comedic style not seen in years. "Ace Ventura" opened and the rest, as they say, is history, well at least until "The Cable Guy." People became afraid of their comic hero when he displayed a dark side, it was like seeing your always-joking best friend decide to beat the crap out of somebody in a bar. Critics started saying this was the end of the career of Jim Carrey, that he finally lost his edge, that his brand of comedy had grown scary and stale, and that maybe, just maybe, it was over. And then comes "Liar Liar."

The general premise for "Liar Liar" isn't new - somebody's not happy with their life so they make a wish it would change. I'm usually reminded of many a movie where the son wishes he could trade places with his father. They are usually very predictable but have the potential for lots of laughs. The problem is the actors generally sucked, couldn't hold a comedic scene to save their life, and the movie ends up being a bore. What's the difference between those bad films and "Liar Liar?" Jim Carrey.

"Liar Liar" is the story of a high-class lawyer, Fletcher Reed (Jim Carrey), who has this tremendous ability to twist the truth around so his usually guilty clients get off or get awarded huge settlements. He's a workaholic, trying to sleep his way into a partnership at the law firm, and keeps forgetting the promises he makes to his son, Max, played by the adorable Justin Cooper. Fletcher is divorced from the "no supermodel - she's just nice" (my favorite type) Audrey (Maura Tierney), and she's starting to get really pissed that the father to her son keeps disappointing the little dude. This has her in such a tizzy that she's thinking of heading to Boston with her dorky new boyfriend and take Max with her.

So, Fletcher ends up missing Max's birthday party, Max decides to wish that his father can't lie for one whole day, and the comedic genius that is Jim Carrey really explodes on the screen. Through professing his true feelings of his sexual episode, to a hilarious telling of his co-workers what he really thinks of them, to a courtroom scene of constant laughs as Fletcher tries to figure out any way he can honestly win his case, Jim Carrey works his face and his body into more expressions and contortions than there are positions in the Kama Sutra. This is his gift to this movie - using his body to express the shear frustration of telling the truth.

Why can Jim Carrey make your standard "I wish . . ." movie work? Maybe it's because he isn't serious at the wrong times, maybe because he shows the torment we might feel had we try to go through 24 hours of telling exactly what is on our minds, and maybe it's just because he has every facial expression and body movement to express the "what the hell is going on" attitude perfectly. All the while being haunted by having to tell the truth you do get to see a serious side to Fletcher, you get to see an enlightening, you get a "family" message, but none of it drowns out the real comedic element - that being Fletcher losing his ability to lie.

If you're saying "I'll bet this movie is predicable. I'll bet he makes his son happy. I'll even bet Fletcher becomes a kind-hearted guy rather than the scum-bag lawyer he starts out as," well, you're right - this movie isn't about surprise endings or making you wonder what is going to happen next. If that's what you're looking for, a movie that's surprising, go and see "Crash" and figure out how car crashes can be sexually stimulating. Nope, "Liar Liar" is about a premise so simple, being forced to always tell the truth, and how truly difficult it can be. But along with being difficult, it also shows that by being forced to tell the truth for a day will force you to look at your life and how it really affects those around you.

Maybe best summed up by this little cutie I was walking behind as we were leaving the theater, she says "I haven't laughed that hard in weeks." Laughs are plenty in this movie, and it does have that message about what it takes to be a good father and parent, but there are still some adult jokes that might go over some of the youngin's heads. Just remember, as you're leaving the theater and you're son or daughter asks you what the "jugs" are that Fletcher was talking about in the elevator, don't go telling them they are bottles that milk used to come in, although, I guess you really wouldn't be lying, would you?

This movie is a comedy, a great one at that, and has Jim Carrey being his explosive best. But you know, deep inside you can almost see Jim Carrey being a serious actor rather than always going over the top, and scary as it might sound, his next move might just be a serious role. Will it work - only time and a great script will tell. Maybe his facial expressions and "alrighty then" attitude are starting to get stale like his "Fire Marshall Bill" character was getting when I saw him doing stand-up years ago. I'm just glad they didn't lose their freshness before "Liar Liar" or it could have been a disaster like many of the "I wish . . ." movies from years gone by.

It's 4 stars out of 5 for "Liar Liar" and that's it for this one! I'm the Dude on the Right! L8R!!

 

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