Rating: PG-13 (Sexual humor, language)
Length: 86 minutes
Release date: March 21, 1997
Directed by: Tom Shadyac
Stars: 3.5 out of 5
“Liar Liar” is a comedy classic from 1997 that stars the legendary comedian Jim Carrey as Fletcher Reede, a brilliant defense attorney and a compulsive liar. Reede is rendered unable to lie when his young son, Max, makes a birthday wish after the final straw in a long string of fatherly disappointments. Forced to tell the truth for the entire day, the attorney must find a way to navigate his daily life. In doing so, he realizes just how much of his life is based on the lies that come so easily to him.
“Liar Liar” has made its way into the hearts and DVD collections of plenty of comedy fans over the years, and for good reason. This comedy film is as heartwarming as it is hilarious, and the script is laced with plenty of lawyer jokes and gags revolving around Reede’s inability to tell a lie. Like many professionals, Reede relies on lies and obscured truths just to get by, always telling people what he thinks they want to hear rather than what is actually on his mind. As can be expected, his newfound candor leads to its fair share of disastrous social and professional consequences.
Interestingly enough, as the film progresses, Reede’s character begins to develop an appreciation for the truth. Forced to live in a completely different way from what he has become used to, he begins to see himself the way others do. Since he is forced to tell others what he really thinks of them, they begin to return the favor by giving him their honest opinions. Some of those opinions are easier to swallow than others, and through this process, Reede begins to sort out the people who are truly there for him from those who are just along for the ride of his success.
“Liar Liar” is a hilarious comedy with a script that runs deeper than most. The film delivers plenty of laughs and awkward situations caused by Reede’s unique predicament, but it also has a strong moral to offer. Parenthood is a major focus throughout the film as Reede learns to readjust his priorities to focus more on Max and his relationship with his ex-wife. As his professional life starts to crumble around him, he begins the slow but sure process of rebuilding the family life that was once so important to him.
Jim Carrey is known for his outlandish characters in popular films such as “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective” and “The Mask.” “Liar Liar” is one of his most famous films and is widely credited as the point at which the actor started to branch out from slapstick comedy to more dramatic roles. Fletcher Reede is a hilarious character, but he also possesses a level of depth that introduced audiences to a whole new side of the famous actor and comedian.
Maura Tierney delivers a fantastic supporting performance as Audrey Reede, Fletcher’s ex-wife and Max’s mother. The relationship between Audrey and Fletcher is one of the most touching aspects of the film. Although the couple was once deeply in love, their relationship was tested as Fletcher began to gain more and more success in his career. Audrey began to see that she and her son were no longer his top priority, and she decided to divorce him and pursue a relationship with a more family-oriented man. As Fletcher begins to change and become more like the man she first married, Audrey is forced to reexamine her own priorities and determine whether she has it in her heart to give her original love one more chance. The drama intensifies when Max’s birthday ends and Reede must make the decision between returning to his old ways and continuing on his new, honest path in life.
“Liar Liar” is a great comedic film that appeals to a wide range of viewers, which is one of the reasons it has received such critical acclaim over the years. The film remains a hallmark in Jim Carrey’s acting career, and its concept has been borrowed from in other films but never duplicated. Although the film is now more than fifteen years old, it tells the story of a man whose concerns and experiences are remarkably relatable to a modern audience. Reede’s predicament would be just as hilarious today as it was at the turn of the century, and the film may leave modern audiences wondering what would happen if they were unable to lie in today’s world of social media and instant communication. With strong performances, an uproarious script, and plenty of heartwarming moments, “Liar Liar” is a comedy classic that viewers can count on to provide laughs and a family-friendly storyline.