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Big Fat Liar
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Big Fat Liar More at IMDbPro »

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22 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

Fun, if over-the-top, comic fantasy

Author: Roland E. Zwick (magneteach@aol.com) from United States
30 November 2002

`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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24 out of 31 people found the following review useful:

Very nice kids movie; adults can play spot the connection.

5/10
Author: klantry from Deep beneath the waves in NJ
10 February 2002

Broad comedy, minimized violence, recognizable stars - drop the kids off at the matinee and you're in good shape.

If you go along with them, you can play spot the movie connection. Half the movie is set at Universal Studios Los Angeles. Aside from the obvious (character walking past the Norman Bates House, etc.), the producers left dozens of props from other movies lying around. (I already submitted the cars from "Back to the Future" and "How the Grinch Stole Christmas".) It's almost like the movie is one big plug for the Universal Studios tour.

Speaking of plugs: Note the obvious ones for Coca-Cola and the E.T. re-release.

Parental Guidance note: Please be sure to explain to your kids that a) Hollywood is not a nice place to run away to, and b) they shouldn't expect to get hugs and encouragement after they run away.

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15 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Better than Expected

Author: Dave Kaminskas (Cyber256702000@yahoo.com) from Royal Oak, MI
15 October 2002

When a 14 year old boy has an accident with one of Hollywood's biggest producers, he soon finds that the producer has begun to make a movie off of an English paper story he left in his car. When no one believes the kid he takes his best friend and they go to Hollywood to get the producer to admit that the kid created the story and they are willing to do anything to make sure he admits it. Although this is more for kids it is still a fun comedy for all ages. A good acting job by the young actors. ** out of ****.

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18 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

Works best for kids, but parents won't be put-down by it either

Author: MisterWhiplash from United States
10 February 2002

Big Fat Liar is the type of movie I would've liked even more if I was younger and by that I reccomend this movie to the kids and if the parents don't want to go see Collateral Damage or Black Hawk Down or whatever, they might chuckel as well.

Frankie Muniz plays a young teen who is usually lying a lot, and when he really looses a paper for school in a movie producer's (Paul Giamatti's) limo and winds up in summer school, he decides to go with his girlfriend (Amanda Bynes) to Hollywood to confront him. But it isn't as easy as he thought for him to fess up. Giamatti's blue man scenes are some of the funniest scenes he's had in movies since Private Parts. Other scenes vary on the person, however. Grade: B

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13 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

A Harmless Fun Little Movie

6/10
Author: livingdeadgirl_13 from vancouver
2 May 2003

Jason Shepherd(Frankie Muniz) is known for always lying to keep himself out of trouble. When he doesn't complete his big english assignment, his teacher says that he has three hours to complete it or he will fail and go to summer school. Jason has a great imagination and he writes a story that's tilted "Big Fat Liar". On the way to hand in his assignment, he gets a ride from a famous hollywood producer Marty Wolf(Paul Giamatti) but unfortunately he forgets his english assignment. in the car, fails and has to go to summer school. He tries to convince his parent and teacher what really happened to his assignment but nobody believes him. A few months after, there is a big blockbuster hit coming out tilted "Big Fat Liar" that's supposedly been written and produced by Marty Wolf. Jason notices that the movie is based on his english paper and that Marty Wolf has stolen his story. Now along with his cute friend Kaylee(Amanda Bynes) Jason will travel to Los Angeles and try to convince everybody what a big fat liar Marty Wolf is. I thought this was a harmless fun little movie. It's nothing special but it has a couple of jokes and it's pretty entertaining. It's more for the younger audience but I still found it to be somewhat enjoyable. I would give Big Fat Liar 6/10

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12 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Hilarious Movie

Author: BrotherSauron from California
28 February 2003

This is a hilarious movie about a kid who just wants to earn his dad's trust back. Frankie Muniz, Paul Giamatti, and especially Amanda Bynes all provide excellent performances. It's a well-written story with some very important messages. Much of it seems to be set in Universal Studios, on lots one can see during one of the tours, which makes the movie even more enjoyable. I haven't laughed this much in a long time.

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16 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

now that was fun to watch it...

8/10
Author: rak78 from Earth, Europe
20 September 2002

It is a nice comedy. It has the great features of the childhood, lying or trying to get away from own generated troubles. The casting is great, great acting. And the special effects ? Well, some stunts are really impressive. Watch it! :)

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11 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Cute,Clean and Kid Friendly

8/10
Author: brodie6 from Rockland County
19 February 2002

This Movie is really an entertaining, good clean fun movie, for the kiddies. Kaley(played by Nickelodeon's talented Amanda) is the sidekick to a rambunctious boy who has a hard time telling the truth. He eventually works this into a movie script that gets stolen. I won't bore you with the details. If you have children and want to see an entertaining if not thrilling kids movie, I highly recommend this one.

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7 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

I got drug along, but it wasn't bad

7/10
Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida
11 July 2006

Okay, I'll admit that if I didn't have kids, I never would have seen this film and would never see it. But, considering all the rotten kids movies I have seen (such as SPY KIDS 2 or BABE: PIG IN THE CITY), this is a significant improvement. And, it had enough in it that I wasn't totally bored out of my skull or contemplated suicide (something I did repeatedly in the other two movies). Sure, the performances are pretty broad and the plot is kinda silly--but it IS a kids film. And, compared with other films in the genre, this is definitely better than average. Frankie Muniz and Amanda Bines actually appear to have some talent and probably will continue to have careers after puberty--at least on infomercials or doing voice-overs.

So, if you are looking for a film to see with your kids, you certainly could do a lot worse!

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

"Big Fat Liar"- 9/10. Fun, fun, and more fun!

Author: movies2u from United States
17 January 2004

Big Fat Liar (2002)

There are only three words to describe this movie- fun...fun...fun! Big Fat Liar is about Jason Shepard (Frankie Muniz), an 8th grader who is highly known by his parents and classmates to be a liar about things. At school, Jason learns that if he doesn't turn in an exam to his english teacher by five o'clock that night, then he will be in summer school. While riding his bike there, he is hit by a limo that is transporting Marty Wolff (Paul Giamatti), a nasty, rich, and lying movie producer. Jason gets a ride from him, and accidently leaves his english paper in the limo. When Jason goes to turn it in to his teacher, he realizes the paper is gone, and he tells his parents and teacher what happened- how he got hit by a limo transporting Marty Wolff--- but his parents don't believe him. Marty then steals Jason's story and puts "Big Fat Liar" into production. Now, along with his best friend Kaylee (Amanda Bynes), he must get to Hollywood, track down Marty Wolff, and prove to his parents once and for all that he is not lying. This movie had some fun scenes and moments, and many laughs (mostly from the hilarious Amanda Bynes), and keeps you entertained to the very end. 9/10.

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