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Overall Rating
3.54

Awesome30.86%
Worth A Look: 28.4%
Average: 9.88%
Pretty Bad: 25.93%
Total Crap: 4.94%

3 reviews, 63 user ratings


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Liar Liar
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by Jack Sommersby

"I'm Not Lying: This Film Sucks"
2 stars

A typically impersonal film starring quite the overpaid "actor".

In the negligible Liar Liar, Jim Carrey plays Fletcher Reed, a talented criminal-defense attorney who makes it a living lying and swindling his way through the legal system. He's on the verge of making partner in his law firm and life is going great, except his family life is badly in need of some long-overdue repairs. He's divorced from his wife, and his six-year-old son misses him terribly; the boy and Fletcher have a natural rapport and love spending time together -- when they're together, that is. For Fletcher has made a habit of setting up dates with his kid and suddenly cancelling; but the kid gets sweet revenge on his birthday -- upon blowing out his candles he wishes that Daddy could stop lying for an entire day. Does the wish come true? Well, at the same instant Fletcher has just finished having sex with an influential female partner in his firm, when asked how it was, he replies, "I've had better." From here, the movie is nothing more than an array of sketches where Fletcher must fight his instinct to lie. He's at a particular disadvantage in his current court case because the whole thing is dependent practically on nothing but fabrication. Added to which, this chauvinist is constantly being slapped by beautiful women when telling them exactly what's on his mind. In between the chaos, he's fighting to keep his family together and persuading them not to move to Boston with Mom's boyfriend (the typically bland Cary Elwes).

There's some potential to be had from the premise, and Carrey and director Tom Shadyac manage to bring off a couple of bits. Some of the one-liners have zip and the exchanges between Fletcher and a judge are well-executed. But the film soon wears out its welcome with redundant scenes that keep popping up time and again in the dire hope that three or four times is the charm. Carrey's operating on such an unchecked level of leniency that we're left to watch a comedian who seems to think everything he does is automatically uproarious. Even if the success rate were fifty/fifty there would at least have some occasional verve to get it through, but the percentages aren't in its favor, and most of the jokes will occur in one sequence and then disappear for scenes at a time. Shadyac is so preened presenting laughs that he doesn't bother to modulate the other actors who might have given Carrey a supporting springboard to bounce off of. There's an ample comedian in Swoozie Kurtz who plays the prosecutor, but she's reduced to reacting on the sidelines so Carrey can have the show to himself.

Hence, the chances of filtering bad ideas is near zero, and with Carrey acting as judge, jury, and executioner, the proceedings are dire. Is it really that funny to see Carrey step out of an elevator of gagging passengers and let them know that he was the one who blew a-ss? There's a carelessly conceived scene where Carrey beats himself into a frenzied pulp in the men's bathroom; you expect there to be some kind of payoff, but it comes to a dead halt and you wonder why all the time and energy went into it. And the last fifteen minutes fall completely apart when Fletcher becomes a changed man and must rush to the airport to find his son before he leaves. Sentimentality doesn't look good on Carrey, and this cornball conclusion establishes that he can't carry off so much as a single genuine emotion. All in all, Liar Liar isn't necessarily awful -- it's somewhat more tolerable than the cheerlessly-bombastic Ace Ventura series -- but it's not terribly distinguished, either. There's a certain degree of agitation to be had when sitting through an impersonal and uninspired Jim Carrey star vehicle in that you're not having a tenth of the amount of fun that he is, with the audience paying an eight-dollar admission cost and he's being paid twenty-million to act in a self-appreciative vacuum. What a deal!

"The Cable Guy" is a far more preferable entertainment.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=300&reviewer=327
originally posted: 12/10/07 17:12:43
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User Comments

11/17/13 The Big D Good, clean, Jim Carrey fun with a sentimental ending. 4 stars
2/04/13 PAUL SHORTT STRONG ON PREMISE, SHORT ON PLOT 2 stars
6/30/09 Dr Music Love it. Jim rules. 5 stars
2/04/08 Pamela White it sure would be a different world if we couldn't lie 5 stars
1/18/08 X Wang Pretty funny movie - Jim Carrey is great 4 stars
1/07/08 Aaron Commareri Jim Carey is funny as always, but I rather watch him in something else 3 stars
12/10/07 ceredo great Jim Carey comedy - as only he can do! 4 stars
8/25/07 Ryan Stiles One of the funniest movies ever. Carrey is the funniest man alive. Puts me in a great mood. 5 stars
7/14/07 Vincent Ebriega One of Carrey's better efforts. 3.5/5. 4 stars
1/08/07 Stephen just Jim carrey being Jim carrey...Ok movie 3 stars
11/25/06 Alexander DeVore Legally accurate subplot about divorce. Every man should watch this before marriage. 5 stars
5/26/06 drydock54321 funny funny guy 4 stars
4/03/06 JRE it's pretty funny but the sex jokes are overused 3 stars
3/28/06 Brian Meyer Off the wall humor. Justin Cooper is too whiney, though! 5 stars
7/24/05 C Vega Carrey at his hyperactive best.....the ending though is kinda crappy 4 stars
4/25/05 Quigley i was so tired of the sexual jokes; it expects us to think of it as funny? 2 stars
3/18/05 Dionte' Stewart By far one of the funniest movies ever made 5 stars
2/24/05 DM Predictable storyline, but so many funny moments. 4 stars
12/14/04 goatfarmerinthailand Carrey at his best - could watch it over and over - classic 5 stars
8/03/04 Anthony G hahahahahahahaha 3 stars
12/21/03 Littlepurch A classic. Laughed all the way through, even after about a dozen viewings. 5 stars
12/10/03 re A GREAT FILM 5 stars
11/24/03 Samuel A really funny movie, if you watch it once...twice at the most!! 4 stars
9/03/03 Dawn For the love of everything good and holy, give Carrey more than one joke per movie. 2 stars
7/24/03 J.S. Hey, Pinkline Jones, go fuck your dog and blow your cat, you fucking idiot! 5 stars
4/13/03 Jack Sommersby A promising premise squarely developed. Carrey more obnoxious to us than his onscreen foes. 2 stars
3/17/03 Peter Just great! Another role that can ONLY be played by Jim. 5 stars
1/29/03 Hi there Fucking funny. 5 stars
1/22/03 Pinkline Jones As UNfunny as it gets. Carrey should be shot for this. 1 stars
12/31/02 John Aster Habig jim carrey's best 5 stars
10/16/02 Charles Tatum Nothing deep, but funny 4 stars
9/05/02 Chancey Thunderpants Jim Carrey is such an annoying assfuck! 1 stars
7/13/02 Bada Bing Crosby One riotous scene in a boardroom, where he's honest w/co-workers, was great..rest was not 3 stars
7/08/02 Chris Jones WEINER PATROL i love jim carrey he is hot 5 stars
5/26/02 Frances its pretty funny even though carrey can be a little irritating 4 stars
4/27/02 Heather Purplethorne Not enough of a farce for Jim Carrey to shine in it. 3 stars
3/25/02 Jimmy Great Movie !!! 5 stars
1/04/02 Turtle A hilarious, brilliant movie. One of Jim Carrey's funniest! 4 stars
9/29/01 Evil Bitchwoman I think this is quite a good film. Jim carrey is such a funny actor 5 stars
9/23/01 Henry Ginsberg I almost through up watching this film. 2 stars
8/09/01 E-Funk Carrey's funniest since the original Ace Ventura. I can watch this over and over and over 5 stars
8/07/01 Joe Zappa This is Exhibit A that proves the Academy Awards discriminates comedies. 5 stars
5/27/01 Marijan Srdic verry funny stuff 5 stars
5/18/01 Bada Bing Crosby Better than some of his, not as good as others. At least its not long 3 stars
2/15/01 lisa carrey's a smartass he made everyone else look stupid. 5 stars
12/28/00 Tom Funny, i was tearing my sides! (danilo you're a moron, sorry) 4 stars
12/27/00 Turtle Jim Carrey is funny as always! 5 stars
11/29/00 The Evil Penguin the weakest of Jim Carrey's films 2 stars
8/30/00 Ant For me, the excessive moralising ruined what could have been a hilarious film. 2 stars
6/01/00 danilo jim carrey's best movie. 2nd only to Truman Show 4 stars
3/31/00 Beth Worrall I think that Jim Carrey is awesome!! So he's a moron. What can you do!! 5 stars
3/09/00 David Rogers The best of Jim Carrey. He can do anything. 5 stars
1/24/99 Hannah I usually hate these kind of movies, but I really enjoyed this one. 4 stars
11/17/98 Jules I wanted to hate it, but I couldn't... 4 stars
10/24/98 Timmy C I hate Jim Carrey, but I loved this movie...which makes me hate him even more. :) 5 stars
9/30/98 maria i have seen it many times but it still makes me laugh! jim is so great... 4 stars
9/29/98 Johny A couple moments streched into a full length film 2 stars
9/16/98 Chuck-D this movie was funny as all hell. Probably the best Carrey comedy 5 stars
9/09/98 Young Einstein Not like I expected Plato, but why all the hype? What was so good about this? 2 stars
9/06/98 Janine a not-so-shocking disappointment 1 stars
8/24/98 The Capital City Goofball Really failed to live up to the hype. Failed. 1 stars
8/24/98 JenniferLorraine Cute & kidable. If you watched it once, thats almost enough. 4 stars
8/16/98 {{{OZ}}} Not near as good as it's box office would indicate. 3 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  21-Mar-1997 (PG-13)

UK
  N/A

Australia
  N/A


Directed by
  Tom Shadyac

Written by
  Paul Guay
  Stephen Mazur

Cast
  Jim Carrey
  Maura Tierney
  Justin Cooper
  Cary Elwes
  Anne Haney
  Jennifer Tilly



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