5.4/10
34,732
114 user 71 critic

Big Fat Liar (2002)

Fourteen-year-old Jason Shepherd has a reputation for stretching the truth. So, when big-time Hollywood producer Marty Wolf steals his class paper and turns it into a smash hit movie, no one believes Jason's latest tall tale.

Director:

Shawn Levy

Writers:

Dan Schneider (story), Brian Robbins (story) | 1 more credit »
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Frankie Muniz ... Jason Shepherd
Paul Giamatti ... Marty Wolf
Amanda Bynes ... Kaylee
Amanda Detmer ... Monty Kirkham
Donald Faison ... Frank Jackson
Sandra Oh ... Mrs. Phyllis Caldwell
Russell Hornsby ... Marcus Duncan
Michael Bryan French ... Harry Shepherd
Christine Tucci ... Carol Shepherd
Lee Majors ... Vince
Sean O'Bryan ... Leo
Amy Hill ... Joscelyn Davis
John Cho ... Dustin 'Dusty' Wong
Matthew Frauman ... Lester Golub
Don Yesso ... Rocco Malone
Edit

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 leaves an important story assignment entitled "Big Fat Liar" in movie producer Marty Wolf's limo, which Marty then turns into a film. When Jason sees a movie preview of his story, he and his best friend, Kaylee, travel to Los Angeles to make Marty confess to using his story, to clear his name, and to get him out of having to attend summer school. Jason then has to match wits with Marty, 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 »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

When Jason (Frankie Muniz) and Kaylee (Amanda Bynes) enter the studio, the song playing in the background is the main theme from Jurassic Park (1993). See more »

Goofs

When Wolf realizes his car has been sabotaged (specifically where he finds that his brakes are connected to the car horn), his brakes clearly work as he stops his car (despite hearing the car horn when he hits the brakes) but immediately following we see he cannot stop the car. See more »

Quotes

Tow truck driver: They told me to pick up a little blue car. They didn't say anything about a little blue man.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Film title logo appears once end credits are finished See more »

Alternate Versions

In the original theatrical release, the E.T. 20th Anniversary variant of the then-current Universal logo opened the film. This is plastered on the DVD and Blu-ray releases with the standard variant of said logo. Recent television broadcasts use the 2012 Universal Pictures logo. See more »

Connections

References Back to the Future (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

Opening Titles
from Jurassic Park (1993)
Written by John Williams
Courtesy of Universal Pictures, a Division of Universal City Studios, Inc.
See more »

User Reviews

Fun, if over-the-top, comic fantasy
30 November 2002 | by Buddy-51See 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.


28 of 31 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 114 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA | Germany | France

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 February 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Lost and Found See more »

Filming Locations:

Culver City, California, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,554,015, 10 February 2002

Gross USA:

$48,360,547

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$52,970,014
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed