An update of the 1977 comedy, Dick and Jane are living the good life. That is until Dick (Jim Carrey) loses his job shortly after getting a promotion that convinced his wife Jane (Téa Leoni) to quit her job. The money is gone, and the house ends up in foreclosure. Dick decides to turn to a hilarious life of crime to pay the bills with his lovely wife by his side. Then together they decide it's ... See full summary »
Fletcher Reede, a fast talking attorney, habitual liar, and divorced father is an incredibly successful lawyer who has built his career by lying. He has a habit of giving precedence to his job and always breaking promises to be with his favorite young son Max, but Fletcher lets Max down once too often, for missing his own son's birthday party. But until then at 8:15 Max has decided to make an honest man out of him as he wishes for one whole day his dad couldn't tell a lie. When the wish comes true all Fletcher can do is tell the truth and cannot tell one lie. Uh-oh for Fletcher! Written by
Anthony Pereyra <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Do you know what the first movie I ever bought on video with my money was, when I was about 13? It was "The Mask", that most animated of superheroes played to perfection by Jim Carrey. Indeed, it is nigh-on impossible to imagine anyone else playing the part. Carrey's combination of manic behaviour and superior face-pulling was seen as a highly successful money-spinner in the Nineties, culminating in "Liar Liar". At least, until "Me, Myself And Irene".
"Liar Liar" has such a simple premise that it is difficult to believe it hasn't been done before. Carrey plays Fletcher, your typical sleazeball lawyer who spins so many lies that he constantly lets down his son and his mother (ER's Maura Tierney). When his son wishes his father couldn't tell a lie for a single day as he blows out his birthday cake candles, Fletcher is forced to tell nothing but the truth during an important case. Essentially, the movie is a tailor-made vehicle for Carrey as he thrashes about the movie like a fish out of water and gurns as though his life depended on it.
How much enjoyment you'll get from this comedy depends on how much you like Carrey in maniac-mode. He is the picture, dominating every scene he's in. It can get a bit too much at times and you do sometimes wish he'd just shut up for a minute or stops throwing his body about like a puppet without strings. But when he's not there, the movie sags badly and when he returns, he lights the screen up again until you get bored of the routine. When he's on form, Carrey is a master of slapstick and "Liar Liar" provides plenty of opportunity for comic set-pieces. The premise is explored to the full with every opportunity for a gag taken. Not all of them hit the mark but a good ratio do tickle the funny bone.
The other problem, besides Carrey chomping through the screen, is the sugary feel to the thing. If some of the humour were toned down (such as Carrey passing judgment on sleeping with Amanda Donohoe - something I'd like to do, quite frankly) then you'd get the impression that this would be a kiddie's film. To be honest, the only other actor who appears to be trying is Justin Cooper (Max, Carrey's son) and he has a horrible haircut in this, poor blighter. But like I said, this is Carrey's film as most of his back catalogue are. Even when he's in serious actor-mode like "The Truman Show" or "Man On The Moon", the movie seems to revolve around him. Like or loathe him, I can think of few other actors that can hold an audience's attention better than Carrey.
"Liar Liar" is a perfectly good comedy with feel-good moments in the right places and a rubber-faced star in the centre of all the action. Yes, it does feel glossy and engineered to do all the right things at the right time. It does very little to take comedy forward, besides tell an entertaining and original story. And yes, Carrey is screaming in your face as much as possible. But don't let that put you off - I still enjoyed "Liar Liar" at the second time of watching so it must do something right. Except The Claw, which is just wrong...
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