Liar Liar

1997, Movie, PG-13, 86 mins

Review

LIAR LIAR
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A sickly soft-swirl confection of low laughs and smarmy sentiment, this message comedy returns Jim Carrey to the form his fans know and love: He's a one-man whirlwind of pratfalls, silly faces, rude sounds and anarchic epater le bourgeoisie schtick. And hey -- there's an important lesson in there, too: Nothing in this crazy old world is more important than a little boy's love for his dad. Awwwwwww. Lies are the air workaholic lawyer Fletcher Reede (Carey) breathes, both on the job and off. His ex-wife (Maura Tierney) is sick to death of him, and his adoring son Max (Justin Cooper) lives in a state of perpetual disappointment. When Fletcher breaks his promise to attend the child's 5th birthday party, Max makes a special birthday wish: that Fletcher will have to tell the truth for 24 hours. Wacky complications ensue, as Fletcher tells the whole truth and nothing but to family, acquaintances and colleagues in the office and -- even worse -- the courtroom. You'd be wrong to imagine that just because this movie's premise involves words, its comic strategy is verbal -- this is, after all, a picture whose supporting characters include "Zit Boy." Instead, compulsive truth-teller Carrey spends most of his time mugging, contorting himself and quite literally bouncing off walls. The evidence is irrefutable: He is the modern-day Jerry Lewis, a creepy blend of the infantile, the manic and the deeply hostile. Fans who were put off by THE CABLE GUY's ugly edge should be mollified by this picture's relentless smugness: It's simultaneously all touchy-feely in its celebration of paternal love, while painting women as frumps, sex bombs, martyrs, bitches and ugly cows who say stupid things like "Real beauty comes from the inside." leave a comment --Maitland McDonagh

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