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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

Liar Liar (1997)



Reviews and Comments

For many, Jim Carrey is just "too much." Too much madness, too much goofiness, and not enough genuine comic talent. Really, he's no master at deftly calculated comic timing, nor a great wit. He's just so thoroughly unbridled and uninhibited that we laugh (in spite of ourselves, sometimes) at that.

Yet directed properly and given a good script, Jim Carrey can be hilarious. Liar Liar, his best script and film to date, exploits his strengths while counterbalancing with genuine warmth and tenderness. The story is simple. The five year old son of divorced parents loves his dad (Carrey) but is continually hurt by his making promises he never keeps. On his birthday, he wishes his father couldn't tell a lie (not even white ones) for one day. Suddenly, inexplicably, Carrey's character finds himself answering questions truthfully -- putting him into excruciatingly embarrassing situations and jeopardizing his career. And eventually he finds himself stating truths he never admitted even to himself.

For Carrey's fans, this is a real treat. In fact, it's a real treat for non-Carrey fans too, provided they can get past the first twenty minutes or so (where Carrey acts ridiculously zany before the zany plot has even gotten rolling).