Plot: Fletcher (Jim Carrey) is a skilled, ruthless lawyer, the kind of attorney who will use whatever means necessary to defend his clients, if that means bending the truth or helping a guilty client walk free. This has made him a valuable asset to his firm, but his workaholic schedule has taken a toll on his personal life, as his wife Audrey (Maura Tierney) separated from him and his beloved son Max (Justin Cooper) is desperate for more time his with father. Fletcher loves his son and his wife, but can’t seem to leave his work on the back burner and more often than not, fails to show up and breaks his promises, which hurts Max. After his dad misses his birthday party, Max blows out his candles and makes a wish for his father to be honest, just for one day. When Fletcher wakes up the next morning, he has no idea Max made the wish, but he finds himself unable to tell even the smallest of lies…
Entertainment Value: The premise is a simple one, a ruthless lawyer has to be honest for an entire twenty-four hours, regardless of how small the lie is or the impact it has on his lifestyle. I think the concept is a cute one and Liar Liar is a vehicle to let Jim Carrey loose inside a wild character, going through some outlandish situations. So we see him sink into uncomfortable, awkward, and hilarious scenarios, desperate to lie, but forced to reveal the truth. Carrey is the lead and he carries the movie, doing what he does best, rubber faced, slapstick humor with some warmth built in. While most of the role is just silliness and pulling faces, he handles the small, emotional beats well, especially the scenes with Max. If you don’t appreciate his bombastic comedic style, Liar Liar won’t turn you into a fan, but those who like his over the top antics should have a lot of fun with this one. The rest of the cast is also fun, with Maura Tierney, Cary Elwes, Swoosie Kurtz, and Jennifer Tilly, as well as several other familiar faces. The pace is brisk and the humor is frequent, so while this might be just a wacky, light comedy, I think it is a solid movie and worth a look.
The movie has a lot of sexual noises, innuendos, and descriptions of the act, but no nakedness in this one. Fletcher is seduced by his boss, tells people his dick is shriveled, imitates erotic moans, and tells his ex that he’s open to making a woman squeal if it will help his career. So a lot of sexual talk, but no action. No blood, but there are pratfalls and a dark, but humorous sequence where Fletcher assaults and tortures himself in a bathroom, as part of a scheme to end a court session. This is a wild, violent scene that has some outlandish moments, but despite some impressive self abuse, there’s no blood and it is all played for laughs. The dialogue is a lot of fun, with a wealth of wild, over the top, and ridiculous lines to go around. Carrey dials up his performance and makes sure even mild lines seem manic here, so that leads to a number of big, quotable moments and memorable set pieces. The argument with a pen and the boardroom sequence are just a couple of the highlights. On the insanity scale, Carrey’s manic performance is the lone source of craziness here, but as I said, he really ramps up the wackiness, so the movie earns a point.
Overall Insanity: 1/10