Movie Review

Liar, Liar

Reviewed by: Ken James
STAFF WRITER

Very Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
16 to Adult
Genre:
Comedy
Length:
109 min.

Starring: Jim Carrey, Maura Tierney, Justin Cooper, Carey Elways, Amanda Donohoe, Jennifer Tilly / Director: Tom Shadyac

“Liar, liar, pants on fire” is the childhood quip that comes to mind whenever this comedy, featuring physical comedian Jim Carrey, is mentioned. And, strange as it may be, “Liar, Liar” was, indeed, rather childlike. Carrey promises to deliver an abundance of laughs, but unfortunately, at the expense of sexual innendos. While “Liar, Liar” may have been a little cleaner and smarter than Carrey’s previous works, he fails to clean up his act to this reviewers satisfaction.

Fletcher Reede (Carrey) is a fast-talking attorney who has told so many daily lies that his judgment has been forever skewed. His professional career is promising, with a good chance at becoming the newest partner in the law firm. Fletcher is also the father of Max, a cute little guy who wants nothing more than for his father to tell the truth for once and actually follow through with his promises to spend time with him. Time and time again, however, Fletcher comes up with excuses to inadvertently avoid spending quality time with his son. Fletcher’s lying not only disappoints Max, but his ex-wife (Maura Tierney), too.

Known for his ability to “stretch the truth” to new levels, Fletcher is assigned to the case of a seven-time adulteress (Jennifer Tilly) whose multi-millionaire husband is seeking a divorce. Fletchers convinces this woman that SHE is, in fact, the one who has been forced to find affection in the arms of another man (or seven) because of the lack of attention paid by her workaholic husband. As the “victim”, Carey convinces her that she is entitled to half of his estate.

While preparing for the case, and jumping into a sexual escapade with his domineering woman boss along the way, Fletcher misses his sons' birthday party—one more broken promise to add to the never-ending list. The disappointed boy makes a wish before blowing out the birthday candles—a wish that his father would not be able to lie for a whole 24 hours. That one wish will change the course of his father’s life forever… It causes Fletcher not only to attempt to win a case based on truth, but to also win back his son’s trust and convince his ex-wife not to move away.

“Liar, Liar” has an overriding theme which teaches that parenting is more important than working, while also playing up the lifestyle that so many Americans have become involved in—constant “white” lying. While “Liar, Liar” is filled with laughs, don’t fall for the line that it is a “clean” movie. If you do, you’ll be calling someone else “liar, liar”… Numerous sexual situations and a dozen or so profanities litter this otherwise fun comedy.

Year of Release—1997

Viewer Comments
While the overriding theme of this movie was commendable (parenting is more important than working), the non-stop sexual innuendos and references make this movie unsuitable for viewing., especially for children. Jim Carrey’s humor has left much to be desired in his past films, and this production proved to be no different. We all know too many real liars that we don’t need to see this one!
—Scott, age 21
I thought it was pretty funny… until they overdid the saccharine sappiness big time!
—Scotty, age 25
…Thanks for the warning. I can’t afford to pollute my mind with “Liar, Liar”. Can any of us?
—Rodney Golightly, age 34
I think that Liar, Liar was an excellent movie. It really was very true that many times we do get caught in lies and our work is allowed to come before family. Thanks to Jim Carrey and God for making us realize what is important, THE LOVE FOR OUR FAMILIES!
—terry, age 40
Call me naive, but I actually believed the reviewer in the newspaper who said that Carrey had backed off from the vulgarity of the “Ventura” movies. A strange mix of heavy sexual jokes (too blatant to be called “innuendo”, and repentance by Carrey at the end of the movie. The negativeness of his character is developed in the first half, so it is thicker with the bad stuff. His resurgent love for his son at the end was heart-warming, but I left the film quite sorry I had taken my family.
—Rick Randall, age 41
This movie made me think of how I treat my daughter. …A MOVIE FOR PARENTS TO SEE!!!…
—Evan Short, age 24
“Liar, Liar” was a funny movie with a great story line (one that made me cry!) but my boyfriend and I both felt like we shouldn’t have been watching parts of it because of the language but more so the sexual episode and constant references. I enjoyed it a lot and it WAS funny but parents should be cationed against letting their younger children see it because I was somewhat “too young” to see some parts of it in my own opinion. All in all a great movie with a great theme and a lot of laughs!!!
—Charity Temple, age 16
This was Carrey’s best film yet! It was hilarious and cleaner (not clean, cleaner) then his past films. Plus, it had an excellent storyline. Finally a movie where the character realizes his sinfulness and turns back to what is right (honesty and family).
—Brian McClimans, age 22
“Liar, Liar” wasn’t as bad as this… review makes it to be. [It] totally [missed] the significance of Jim Carrey’s realization that he was a bad father and ruthless lawyer due to his son’s wish. The last 20 minutes of the movie was totally about him confronting these issues and reconciling with his son. Jesus would be proud. I was. P.S. We as Christians would do better to look for quality and messages and stop looking for sin! Do you agree?
—Chris Utley
As a big fan of Jim Carrey, it was great to see him as his usual zany self. “Liar, Liar” provided a lot of laughs and a redeeming storyline rarely seen it today’s movies. Carrey’s sexual situations are realized as wrong and he turns back to the ones he loves. Great message! Hilarious movie!
—Andrew Craig, age 22
I thought “Liar, Liar” was a great redemption story and also very funny. I loved the happy ending. There’s genuine repentance for his selfishness and even a biblical quote: “The truth will set you free.” I have never felt Carey’s humour was for kids because of his vulgarity, but I certainly found this movie to be less offensive than the Ace Ventura series.
—Terry Kreutzkamp, age 39