Big Fat Liar

Big Fat Liar


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

There are two things working in BFL's favour. Frankie Muniz is the most accomplished young comic actor around and the storyline has a simplicity that is as pure as driven farce.

The character of Jason (Muniz) is sympathetic. He's neither a dweeb - v popular since Spider-Man - nor a jock. He's a little guy of 14, who is constantly mistaken for a 12-year-old. His real talent, however, is the manufacture of porky pies. His imagination knows no bounds. He can fib his way out of every situation, with a built-in flaw - if he tells the truth no one believes him. Billy Liar, move over.

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When Hollywood producer, Marty Wolf (Paul Giamatti), steals one of Jason's English essays as the basis of his next big comedy, without acknowledgement, Jason and Kaylee (Amanda Bynes), his friend from school, fly to California to demand satisfaction. Marty dismisses them with the assistance of his security corps heavy brigade, igniting internecine warfare.

The film is full of charm. Giamatti has the time of his life. Every budding comedian on the bit-part circuit would sell their gag books for a role like this. Marty is nasty and idiotic at the same time, a showman without shame, whose bullying ways backfire on him.

Muniz has genuine star quality. He neither pouts, nor poses, like so many of the older teenage crowd, and has what Kirsten Dunst had at his age, a confidence that never feels forced.

The story won't win prizes, but what does that matter when you're having fun?

Reviewed on: 27 Jun 2002
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Teenage comedy about a high school liar who goes to Hollywood to find the man who stole his deal.
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Director: Shawn Levy

Writer: Dan Schneider

Starring: Frankie Muniz, Paul Giamatti, Amanda Bynes, Amanda Detmer, Donald Adeosun Faison, Sandra Oh

Year: 2002

Runtime: 87 minutes

BBFC: PG - Parental Guidance

Country: US


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