Release year: 1997
Director: Tom Shadyac
Screenwriter: Paul Guay, Stephen Mazur
Starring: Jim Carrey, Maura Tierney, Justin Cooper, Cary Elwes, Anne Haney, Jennifer Tilly, Amanda Donohoe
Ratings: 1 Golden Globe nomination: Best Comedy/Musical.
The focus lawyer Fletcher Reede (Carrey) has on his career means he often neglects his son Max (Cooper). When he once again lets down Max and even on his birthday, he makes a birthday wish that for just one day his father can’t tell a lie. The next day Fletcher wakes up to any lawyer’s nightmare: he can’t even tell a white lie.
Made during the highlight of Carrey’s career, Liar Liar is his second collaboration with director Tom Shadyac with whom he also made his breakthrough movie Ace Venture: Pet Detective (1994) and Bruce Almighty (2003). After Ventura, The Riddler in Batman Forever (1995) and The Mask (1994) the movie is the first time we see Carrey play a more normal person, though one in abnormal circumstances. The demand for physical comedy and facial expressions the part gives makes it a perfect match with Carrey and his famous rubber-face. He manages every crazy scene with his distinctive comedy style but also manage the serious scenes well, making you remember that he is not just a comedian but also a capable actor. The child actor is good without being annoying (though you spent a big part of the movie longing to give him a haircut) and the casting of Tierney (Baby Mama, 2008) is a stroke of genius as she perfectly grounds Carrey and brings balance to the movie. It would be hard to match Tilly’s (Bride of Chucky, 1998) slutty client while Haney (Mrs. Doubtfire, 1993) is pure delight as Fletcher’s hard-tested secretary. It is crazy fun with a touch of seriousness and as relevant today as it was then.
When he was interviewed about the film, Jim Carrey jokingly lied what the film was about and stated it was about a Ex navy seal turned cook who is trapped on a ship, which was the plot of Under Siege (1992) starring Steven Seagal. This is in keeping with Fletcher Reede (Carrey), a compulsive liar.
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Picture copyrights: UIP