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Big Fat Liar (2002)

After a young boy's school essay erroneously finds its way into the hands of a Hollywood producer who turns the idea into a hit film, the boy travels to Los Angeles to claim his credit.

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1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Storyline

A take on the classic tale 'The Boy Who Cried Wolf', this is the story of a 14-year-old boy named Jason Shephard who lies for the fun of it. He loses an important story assignment entitled 'Big Fat Liar' in movie producer Marty Wolf's limo, which Wolf then turns into a film. When Jason sees a movie preview of his story, he and his best friend Kaylee go to Los Angeles to make Wolf confess to using his story, to clear his name, and to get him out of having to attend summer school. The teen liar then has to match wits with Wolf, who also turns out to be a big liar. Written by Anna <annachan@amazon.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Big Fat Liar is an extremely funny comedy, filed whit nonstop action and hilarious pranks. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some language | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

8 February 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Lost and Found  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$11,554,015 (USA) (8 February 2002)

Gross:

$47,811,275 (USA) (5 April 2002)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Paul Giamatti and Sandra Oh both appeared in the critically acclaimed film 'Sideways' three years later. See more »

Goofs

After Jason & Kaylee have taken some time to look around at the warehouse that they use for their temporary home, Jason says that they'll hangout there until closing time & then go shopping. When he's saying this; behind him is a telephone booth. Reflected in the telephone is a crew member in a white t-shirt reading some sort of newspaper or maybe the script to the movie. He is looking down at the pages then seemingly looking up at the actors as they say their lines. (Maybe he's the script supervisor or something.) See more »

Quotes

Harry Shepherd: Jason, you awake?
Jason Sheperd: Yeah, Dad, been up for hours. Just getting dressed.
Harry Shepherd: Did you finish that paper for English class?
Jason Sheperd: Yeah, Dad, did it last night.
Carol Shepherd: Jas, did you eat your oatmeal.
Jason Sheperd: Yeah, thanks Mom, it was delicious.
[takes the plate and gives it to his dog under the table]
Jason Sheperd: Here you go, Trooper.
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Connections

References The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) See more »

Soundtracks

Disco Inferno
Written by Leroy Green and Ron Kersey (as Tyrone G. Kersey)
Performed by The Trammps
Courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp.
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Fun, if over-the-top, comic fantasy
30 November 2002 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

`Big Fat Liar' offers a lively contemporary spin on the Boy Who Cried Wolf legend. Jason Shepherd is a 14-year-old inveterate liar who spends most of his time devising elaborate yarns to keep himself out of trouble with his parents and teachers. One day, through an amazing fluke, he meets up with a nefarious movie producer named Marty Wolf who steals Shepherd's story idea – a composition he wrote for his English class entitled `Big Fat Liar' – and proceeds to make a movie out of it. When Jason's parents refuse to believe their son's outlandish tale, the youngster heads out to Hollywood to confront Wolf and make him verify his story. When Wolf refuses to do this, Jason concocts an elaborate scheme to make Wolf's life a living hell until he relents and helps make things right back home.

Kids will love `Big Fat Liar' for the simple reason that it works as pure adolescent fantasy wish-fulfillment on several levels. First, it shows a youngster getting the rare opportunity of turning a major studio backlot into his own personal playground (the film sometimes feels like a 90-minute commercial for Universal Studios' behind-the-scenes tour). Second, it feeds the desire we all have to watch the tables being turned on a certified rascal. And, third, like any good fantasy for children, it puts the kids in a position of power over the adult world. Jason and his pretty cohort, Kaylee, get to call the shots and pull the strings that eventually get the grownups to pay attention and listen to them.

`Big Fat Liar' might actually have been a better film had it resisted the tendency to overdo so much of its comedy. In fact, the best parts of the film occur near the beginning when Jason and his adventures stay connected to the real world. Once he gets to Hollywood, the film loses a bit of its edge. The cleverness and wit of the film's opening stretches give way to overwrought plot mechanics and over-the-top slapstick. The film has a great deal of undeniable energy, but subtlety can be a virtue as well and we miss that sense of sly fun that defines the film's ambiance early on.

Still, `Big Fat Liar' has more to recommend it than the average teen comedy. First of all, it stars the marvelous Frankie Muniz (`Malcolm in the Middle') who has energy and charm to spare in the role of Jason and who literally keeps the film bouncing along even when the comic setups don't always pay off as well as they should. Muniz is one child actor I will miss when he grows too old to still play these parts. Amanda Byrnes is equally likable as Jason's conspiratorial companion, Kaylee. And even though Paul Giamatti seems to be doing a Jim Carrey impersonation through large sections of the film, this fine comic actor hits heights of magnificent manic madness as the put-upon, hissable villain of the piece. The movie also has a fun time ribbing many of the elements of Hollywood culture – from the unemployed `actors' working as chauffeurs to the has-beens looking for that big career turnabout to the insipid material that often serves as the basis for big studio productions (a movie about a cop teamed up with a crime-fighting chicken is the example here).

`Big Fat Liar' provides mixed blessings for the sophisticated adult audience, but youngsters should enjoy it all.


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