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Big Fat Liar /

Rated: PG
Starring: Frankie Muniz, Paul Giamatti, Amanda Bynes, Amanda Detmer, Donald Faison
Directed by: Shawn Levy
Produced by: Michael Tollin, Brian Robbins
Written by: Dan Schneider, Brian Robbins, Karey Kirkpatrick

Distributor: Universal Pictures


Movie Image

Movie Image

Movie Image

      After recently suffering through the tragic Clockstoppers, I reluctantly went into viewing Big Fat Liar thinking that it would be the same. Films with stars of obnoxious Nickelodean sitcoms aren’t exactly pieces of any value. I expected Big Fat Liar to be annoying, repetitive, boring, and more or less off. These low expectations contributed to my love for the material, but the jokes that I saw in the flick were new, original, and raised the bar for this coming of age style to kids’ movies.

     Jason Shepherd (Frankie Muniz) is a fourteen year-old who constantly lies to get out of doing his schoolwork. He pretends he’s his father on the telephone when his teacher calls, buys term papers off of the internet, and uses about every method under the sun to get out of anything remotely challenging; he is the worlds’ biggest procrastinator.

     One day when his teacher asks him to hand in a term paper that counts for one third of his entire semester grade; he tries to lie in order to give himself one more day to complete the assignment, but in the end she finds out that she doesn’t have it. She allows him three hours after school to complete the topic, a short-story, if he can take it down to the Junior College, where she teachers as a second job. He finds a topic and gets writing, it is 5:45 when he’s done; it has to be in by six.

     In order to get there in time, he rides his sisters pink bicycle; his skateboard was stolen by bullies earlier in the day. Every thing is moving in a timely fashion and he is going to make it on time, but a block away from the college; he accidentally slams into a limousine with the bike. Just to make sure that he is okay, and that he won’t sue for physical trauma, the driver offers him a ride. He hops in, and finds out that the limousine belongs to one of the biggest directors in Hollywood. His name is Marty Wolf, and he is shooting a new movie in town.

     Jason makes it to the college just in the knick of time. He hops out of the limo and thanks the driver for the ride. Too excited to speak, and relieved that his grade will be saved, he dashes to his teacher’s classroom. When he gets there he finds that his paper is gone and that he has left it in the director’s car. He tells his teacher the truth, but due to his boy-cried-wolf attitude, she doesn’t believe him. Not only is he going to flunk English class, but now an even bigger problem has been created. The director finds the story on the floor of the car; and he has just found a sudden inspiration for his new movie.

     In Big Fat Liar, there are tons of little neatly written jokes that spice up the movies ditsy plot. The humor works because of its short lived appearance, in the constantly moving plot that makes the film watchable for little ones with short attention spans. I loved the little clip where Franky Muniz short-circuits when he drinks too many free Cokes from a tweaked vending machine. The spiffy, bubble-gum dialogue is what should be appreciated; kids will laugh at the     stupid potty humor, while parents will find the films innocence very entertaining to watch.

     The writer, Dan Schneider, who also heads the lead actresses television show, “The Amanda Show”, is absolutely wonderful in creating the prefect delivery for this type of material. At the beginning of “The Amanda Show” in a cartoon skit, the Amanda character always says “Love Ya Dan”; this might not be sincere, after all it’s a recording, but should be. Without him we would just get a bunch of tired, gagging humor to barely move the film along; but his ingenious writings make Big Fat Liar a big, fat, juicy movie.

     Big Fat Liar is a fun and entertaining experience for parents and their children. Its sugary jokes move the delightful material along just beautifully. Frankie Muniz and Amanda Bynes fit their roles perfectly, and flawlessly execute what little they had to do. For an enriching experience that will pleasure the whole family, you can’t do wrong with this flick.

-Danny, Bucket Reviews