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"LIAR, LIAR"
(1997) (Jim Carrey, Justin Cooper) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Minor Minor Moderate None None
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Heavy None None None Moderate
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Moderate None Moderate Mild Mild


QUICK TAKE:
Comedy: A magical birthday wish causes a lawyer to tell nothing but the truth for twenty-four hours.
PLOT:
Fletcher Reede (JIM CARREY) is a successful trial lawyer whose best weapon is his proficiency at lying. While he's nearly become a partner due to his courtroom success, the lies he's told to his son Max (JUSTIN COOPER) have strained their relationship. When Fletcher misses Max's birthday after promising he'd be there, Max makes a birthday wish that his father won't lie for one day. The wish comes true and at a bad time for Fletcher. A pending trial with an estranged wife, Samantha Cole (JENNIFER TILLY), of a millionaire will make him a partner in the firm if he wins, yet he needs to lie to do so. Simultaneously, his ex-wife Audrey (MAURA TIERNEY) is planning to move to Boston with Max and her boyfriend Jerry (CARY ELWES) if Fletcher fails to show up just once more. As the day progresses, Fletcher must do what he can without telling a lie, and finds that he's a better father and person for doing so.
WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're fans of Jim Carrey (of the "Ace Ventura" movies and "The Mask," etc...) they definitely will.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For sex related humor and language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • JIM CARREY plays a lawyer who lies to win court cases, and puts his career ahead of his son. During his twenty-four truth period, however, he learns not to lie and how to be a better father and person.
    MAURA TIERNEY and JUSTIN COOPER play an average mother and son who must deal with Fletcher's lying.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    OUR TAKE: 7.5 out of 10
    This is one of the funniest movies to hit the theaters in quite some time and is definitely Jim Carrey's strongest piece of work. You don't have to be a big fan of his to enjoy this movie, but if you can't stand his wild physical antics and behavior, you might want to skip this film. Carrey will long be remembered as one of the masters of physical comedy and his exaggerated gestures, movements and contortionist behavior are just plain amazing to watch. Reminiscent of Steve Martin in the movie "All of Me" (where half of his body is inhabited and controlled by the spirit of another person), Carrey shows that he can be on screen all by himself and still prove to be utterly hilarious. While the plot is simple enough, its setup allows for many possibilities and both the script and Carrey's performance completely fulfill them. Though not a sophisticated comedy, this one will long be remembered as one of the funniest of that genre. We give it a 7.5 out of 10.
    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Beyond a few sexually related scenes and a lot of imitative behavior, this film is relatively mild in most other categories. The worst of the language is 5 "s" words and a few slang terms you'd probably your younger kids not repeat. There is one brief sexual encounter, but no nudity or movement is seen. A tape recording of a different encounter is a bit more steamy with moaning and orgasmic sounds and a few choice phrases being heard. On a different note, children who feel that they’re being left out or are being ignored by their parents may strongly identify with young Max. However, the good thing is that this film becomes somewhat of a strong family movie by its end. Carrey's wild antics and facial expressions may be targets for imitation by kids. In addition, the fact that his brutal truth of how he really feels toward others that makes them, him, and the audience laugh, might cause kids to try the same approach toward people they know. That, of course, leads to the big point of parent-child discussion from this movie: Lies and when they are and aren't acceptable or appropriate. Since your kids will probably want to see this film, you should read through the category listings before deciding if this is appropriate for them.

    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Audrey and Jerry drink wine with dinner as do others.
  • A flight attendant asks Audrey if she wants anything to drink. She replies, "Anything with alcohol" and then quickly consumes the drink once she gets it.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Fletcher has a slightly bloody nose and a few red scrapes after beating himself up.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Fletcher lies about everything, and often puts his career ahead of his relationship with Max. At one point he lies and says that he ran out of gas and thus was late coming over. He forgets Max's birthday (his secretary has already bought a gift knowing that he'd forget), and later he misses the birthday party.
  • Fletcher takes a court case that causes him to miss taking his son to a wrestling match like he had promised.
  • Fletcher tells Max, "Sometimes grownups have to lie," when talking about lying about people's looks. Max says, "My teacher says real beauty's on the inside." Fletcher responds, "That's just what ugly people say."
  • Fletcher pulls off a man's hairpiece and plasters it to the wall. He then makes stereotypical "Indian whooping sounds" with his hand to his mouth (as if he had just scalped the man).
  • Fletcher can't help but telling the truth about how he feels about members of the board. His comments are harsh and straight to the point, but the board members think he's "roasting" them. Their and Fletcher's laughter might make kids think this is appropriate behavior that will get them laughs as well.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • None.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • None.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Creep," "Creepy," "Jerk off," "Schmuck," "Pissed," "Jerk," "Bastard," "Fart," "Steaming pile of cow dung," "Retard," "Slut," "Degenerate," "Idiot," "Scumbag," "Hag," and "D*ckhead."
  • Fletcher makes many exaggerated facial expressions, body movements and sounds that kids may try to imitate.
  • Fletcher speeds down the road, breaking many traffic laws (running lights, failing to yield, etc...) as he races to be with Max (but a traffic cop does pull him over).
  • Fletcher's secretary gives him "the finger" after she learns that he's been lying to her over all of their years together.
  • Fletcher pulls off a man's hairpiece and plasters it to the wall. He then makes stereotypical "Indian whooping sounds" with his hand to his mouth (as if he had just scalped the man).
  • There is a farting scene (not heard), where Fletcher leaves an elevator where everyone is reacting to a smell. He then spins around and admits, "It was me."
  • Fletcher says, "I'll bend over and take it up the tail pipe" while waiting for his boss' reaction to what he's just said.
  • Fletcher can't help but telling the truth about how he feels about members of the board. His comments are harsh and straight to the point, but the board members think he's "roasting" them. Their and Fletcher's laughter might make kids think this is appropriate behavior that will get them laughs as well.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • 5 "s" words, 6 slang terms involving male genitals (the "d" and "p" words), 2 slang terms for breasts ("jugs" and "boobs"), 4 "ass" words, 3 damns, 2 hells, 1 "Holy hell," 1 S.O.B., and 2 uses each of "For God's sake" and "Oh my God" and 1 use each of "God damn," "My God," "God in heaven," and "Oh God" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Fletcher asks his ex-wife, "Are you and Jerry..." and makes a face of ecstasy (as if having sex). She then says that they have been dating for seven months (implying that they have had sex). He responds that he thought she wouldn't have any energy left after being married to him. She replies that he had more sex than her during their marriage.
  • It's reported that Mrs. Cole had "seven acts of indiscretion" (affairs).
  • As Mrs. Cole leaves from a meeting, she squeezes Fletcher's butt.
  • Fletcher's boss, Miranda, tells him that if he wins the Cole case he'll make partner. She then says, "As a matter of fact, how'd you like to make a partner?" She then comes on to him, unbuttoning his shirt, unbuckling his belt and straddling his lap. Fletcher is on the phone and says, "The boss is really riding me" (double meaning), and while nothing more is seen, it's implied that they sleep together. Later, she asks him how "it" was, and he replies, "I've had better."
  • Quite a bit of cleavage is exposed, both by a woman in an elevator and by Mrs. Cole. Incapable of lying, Fletcher responds to the buxom woman in the elevator who has just mentioned how everyone is so nice to her. He says, "That's because you've got big jugs. I mean your boobs are huge. I mean I want to squeeze them." In the out-takes Fletcher says, "If I was a boxer I'd bounce those things like Sugar Ray Leonard."
  • After a judge asks how he's doing, Fletcher responds that he had a "...bad sexual episode last night."
  • Fletcher comments that it'll help his career to make a partner (Miranda) squeal.
  • When Audrey asks Fletcher what he was doing the night before (that caused him to miss Max's birthday party) he says, "I was having sex."
  • A co-worker passes Fletcher and asks, "How's it hangin'?" (as in "How are you?"). Fletcher replies, "Shriveled and always to the left" (a reference to his penis).
  • During the trial, everyone hears a taped recording of Mrs. Cole and her lover having sex. There's a lot of moaning, phrases such as "Oh God" and "Give it to me" and "Harder, harder..." until there are sounds of them climaxing. Mrs. Cole is then heard saying, "You're a better lover than my husband."
  • Fletcher tells a judge (about not urinating when one needs to), "You can damage the prostate. I've heard you can (then) have a hard time getting an erection, or even getting aroused."
  • While trying to get a witness to admit sleeping with Mrs. Cole, Fletcher confronts him with, "You stuffed her like a Thanksgiving turkey...You gave her dog a sausage..." The man finally admits it and says, "All right. I humped her brains out."
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Fletcher's constant lying and need to put his career ahead of his family has already ended his marriage (before the story begins) and has strained his relationship with Max. There are several scenes where Max is crushed that his father doesn't show up when he promised to, and Audrey is mad at him because of this.
  • Mrs. Cole tells her two kids, who'd rather be with their dad, "Stop that whining, or I'll give you something to whine about."
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Lies and whether they're ever appropriate (ie. Big lies vs. "White" lies).
  • VIOLENCE
  • Fletcher's boss, Miranda, pushes him to and across the floor after he's said, "I've had better" about their recent sexual encounter.
  • We hear the sound of a woman punching Fletcher in an elevator after he's remarked about her breasts.
  • A woman smacks Fletcher on a playground after he says something to her that we don't hear.
  • To make it look like he has been beat up, Fletcher hits himself in the face and rubs hand washing soap into his eyes. He then tears up his clothes, pulls on his hair, pours trash onto himself, and then repeatedly slams a toilet seat onto his head. He finally throws his body into the wall and when a passerby asks what he's doing, Fletcher replies, "I'm kicking my ass."
  • Fletcher purposefully hits his head on a courtroom table.
  • Fletcher crashes a "flight of stairs" (used to board airplanes) and falls onto some luggage.



  • Reviewed March 12, 1997

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