Film Scouts Reviews

"Liar Liar"

by Leslie Rigoulot

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Truth As Novelty: I have to admit that I generally don't like Jim Carrey but I thoroughly enjoyed "Liar, Liar". I don't think the Bar Association will appreciate his portrayal of lawyers as "ethically challenged," but Carrey makes his hotshot attorney, Reede, a believable cad. He lies to his secretary, his boss, his clients, his Mom, and even to his five year-old son, Max, adorably played by Justin Cooper. But Max turns the tables by wishing that his Dad couldn't lie for one day. And it comes true, as those of us who have been bombarded by the commercials know. Thankfully, not all the funny stuff got packed into the commercials, so you do have plenty to look forward to. I'm a little concerned about the concept of truth being packaged as a novelty; have we all drifted so far?

Tom Shadyac, who also helmed "Ace Ventura: Pet Detective" and "Nutty Professor", directs, and he is able to keep Carrey at least partially under control. Sure, there are those scenes - for example when he wrestles with a blue pen - that are bound to please Carrey's legion of fans. But there is also a moving realization that Carrey is a bad father and about to lose the son he loves so much. There is never anything predictable about a Carrey film (except that it will make a whole lot of money), but the pattern of the movie will become apparent when I tell you that Brian Grazer is the producer. He was also behind "Ransom", "Kindergarten Cop", and "Parenthood". I hope that doesn't give you too many clues as to what path the film will follow.

No review of "Liar, Liar" would be complete without mentioning Jennifer Tilly's breasts. Her outfits shrink throughout the film until you are certain she will spill out on to the screen at any moment (she doesn't). She is perfect as the conniving client represented by Carrey. Maura Tierney is a rising star, and you will want to keep any eye on her performance as Max's Mom. She is currently working on TV's "NewsRadio" and wrapped production on Bruce Willis' "The Broadway Brawler". She will also be in the much-hyped "Primary Colors" with John Travolta and Emma Thompson. I'm happy to see my old favorite Swoosie Kurtz as the opposition attorney. And don't get up when the credits roll because there are some great outtakes, and the last is Swoosie's right-on assessment of Carrey's acting. I couldn't have said it better. Rated PG-13. Universal.

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