5.4/10
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101 user 67 critic

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.

Director:

Shawn Levy

Writers:

Dan Schneider (story), Brian Robbins (story) | 1 more credit »

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1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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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
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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 »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Germany

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 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,554,015, 10 February 2002, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$47,811,275, 7 April 2002
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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

While Jason (Frankie Muniz) and Kaylee (Amanda Bynes) are hiding in the Prop House, nearby objects include a statue of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), the DeLorean from Back to the Future (1985), the costume and a car from How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000), and a velociraptor from Jurassic Park (1993). See more »

Goofs

The shade of blue on Marty changes inconsistently throughout the movie. See more »

Quotes

Jason Sheperd: Remember me? I wrote "Big Fat Liar".
See more »

Connections

References The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Eye of the Tiger
Written by Frankie Sullivan, Jim Peterik
Performed by Survivor
Courtesy of Rude Music Inc.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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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.


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