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Liar Liar

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All-Reviews.com Movie Review: Liar Liar

Starring: Jim Carrey, Jennifer Tilly
Director: Tom Shadyac
Rated: PG
RunTime: 86 Minutes
Release Date: March 1997
Genre: Comedy


*Also starring: Justin Cooper, Maura Tierney, Cary Elwes, Anne Haney, Amanda Donohoe, Jason Bernard, Swoosie Kurtz, Christopher Mayer



Review by Walter Frith
1 star out of 4

There's an old episode of the sitcom 'Three's Company' in which Jack Tripper makes a promise to himself that he will tell the truth no matter what the consequences. There is also a movie from 1977 entitled 'Freaky Friday' in which a mother and daughter make a wish that they could be each other for a day and it comes true as they switch personalities accordingly.

In 'Liar, Liar' slapstick funny face man Jim Carrey plays an unethical attorney who is also a pathological fibber and is constantly letting down his loved ones including his five year old son. The boy makes a wish on his fifth birthday that his dad will not lie for a day and it works and the picture then moves into a phase of immature pratfalls and physical comedy that Carrey is well known for and he often over does it. Most of the laughs I heard while attending a matinee of this movie came from children under the age of ten and Carrey has fallen flat on his face again in the opinion of this reviewer with his third critical misfire in a row after 'The Cable Guy' (1996) and 'Ace Ventura - When Nature Calls' (1995). Carrey's last mildly entertaining role came in 1995 with 'Batman Forever' in which he played the Riddler and while Carrey now enjoys laughing all the way to the bank at the tune of twenty million dollars per film, he is no Robin Williams or Billy Crystal. These two men are performers of original and controlled comedy (although Williams has sometimes overdone it) with far greater results as they aim for genuine laughs instead of cheap ones.

There are a couple of good belly laughs in 'Liar, Liar' but that doesn't constitute and entire film and Carrey's improvisational style of comedy in which he often borrows from others makes him the director of the film at heart instead of the man given credit (Tom Shadyac). Shadyac is the man who directed Carrey in 'Ace Ventura - Pet Detective' (1994) and I suspect Shadyac is an easy director to control as Eddie Murphy pretty much had his way on 'The Nutty Professor' from last year which Shadyac also directed.

If Jim Carrey can listen to a director and perhaps try his hand at drama then his career would have much more credibility which would lead to acceptance among those over the age of ten of what a fine comedian and actor he has the potential of being. Power trips can be fatal in an industry where you're only as good as your last hit and while 'The Cable Guy' was a box office disappointment, 'Liar, Liar' appears to have a chance but Carrey's act is wearing mighty thin.

Copyright 1997 Walter Frith

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