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Saturday, 30 April 2016

Weekend TV Movie Review: Liar Liar - ITV2 (1997)

Liar Liar
Cast: Jim Carrey, Maura Tierney, Justin Cooper, Cary Elwes, Anne Haney, Jennifer Tilly
Genre: Comedy
Estimated Worldwide Gross: $302,710,615

Plot: Fast-talking lawyer and habitual liar, Fletcher Reede (Jim Carrey) is constantly coming up with excuses for not visiting his 4-year-old son, Max who lives with Fletcher's ex-wife, Audrey (Maura Tierney). When Fletcher misses Max's 5th birthday party, Max makes a wish that his dad will stop lying for a whole day. The wish is immediately put into practice, & Fletcher thus finds himself becoming disturbingly honest with his boss, his colleagues, and worst of all, in court  

'Arguably Jim Carrey's Most All-Round Comedic Best Effort' 

From the producer of the Eddie Murphy 1996 remake of The Nutty Professor and director of Patch Adams, comes this comedy feature starring the impromptu, Jim Carrey of Ace Ventura and The Mask fame.   

Though I'm not a big follower of Jim Carrey's work, I did enjoy Ace Ventura Pet Detective, The Mask, Dumb and Dumber, as well as his TV turn In Living Color and Liar Liar follows the same formula as with all of those comedy-based flicks. And I do find him hilarious. 

Jim Carrey was a huge star in the 1990s, and much like with Robin Williams, he made that successful transition as a TV star and comedian on the small screen to become a Hollywood movie actor, with earlier efforts such as Peggy Sue Got Married and Earth Girls Made Easy in the 1980s. Not since Robin Williams, for a long time until the early 1990s had there been a comedian, whose sense of comedy thrived on high energy, off-the-wall and madcap antics. A lot of people aren't too keen on his style of in-yer-face, improvisational and physical comedy, however. But with movies such as Liar Liar, there is no doubting that it makes the most of his abilities. 

Whilst Ace Ventura, Dumb & DumberThe Mask and to some extent, Batman Forever as the antagonist, the Riddler pretty much put Jim Carrey on the map, Liar Liar is arguably the first real movie where he displays his comedic and acting talents, full-on. And the end result is pretty darn entertaining and highly amusing. 

The humour is just as you'd expect from those hits, yet it operates on a slightly more mature level than that of Ace Ventura Pet Detective and The Mask: the broad humour in both movies can be easily understood by viewers of all ages. 

The movie gets off to a slow start, but as soon as Max starts blowing out the candles on his birthday cake and makes a wish for his dad not to tell a lie for one whole day, chaos and hilarity then ensue. It's not a surprise that this movie was a huge box office hit back in 1997; the director did a great job bringing the best out of Jim's comedic talents. 

What also makes this movie really funny is the fact that every lie that comes out of liar lawyer's (hey the movie could have been titled 'Liar Lawyer' but that would have sounded awful) Fletcher's mouth is one crazy thing after another. The story is about a man who constantly lies in order to get himself out of every predicament, yet what happens when he tells the honest truth? At times this lands him into even bigger trouble, angers people and on certain occasions, it also makes him realise that in exposing all of his flaws, he has to change for the greater good. 

But not only is it funny, it teaches some valuable and fundamental lessons in life, and that lying all the time doesn't get us and will never get us very far in our lives. It is not a typical 'dumb' comedy, but a comedy with heart and lots of humour.

Fans and viewers of Mrs Doubtfire will instantly recognise Anne Haney, who plays Greta in the film. Maura Tierney of ER fame was not bad, but I just didn't feel Cary Elwes as Audrey's boyfriend. He was very dull and the boy who played Max was, cute. 

This is rubber-faced, manic Jim Carrey at his comedic best; with a strong script, some amusing slapstick, sad and heartwarming moments and almost complete performance by Carrey, it is undoubtedly (one of) the best he has delivered. And even more so, as the majority of his latter movies that came right after Liar Liar have been so-so, in terms of quality. 

Final Verdict:

Arguably Jim Carrey's finest and all-round moment, Liar Liar hits the spot in all the right places. Worth owning if you are into slapstick humour and family-friendly comedies. 


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