Big Fat Liar (2002) Poster

(2002)

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Fun, if over-the-top, comic fantasy
Buddy-5130 November 2002
`Big Fat Liar' offers a lively contemporary spin on the Boy Who Cried Wolf legend. Jason Shepherd is a 14-year-old inveterate liar who spends most of his time devising elaborate yarns to keep himself out of trouble with his parents and teachers. One day, through an amazing fluke, he meets up with a nefarious movie producer named Marty Wolf who steals Shepherd's story idea – a composition he wrote for his English class entitled `Big Fat Liar' – and proceeds to make a movie out of it. When Jason's parents refuse to believe their son's outlandish tale, the youngster heads out to Hollywood to confront Wolf and make him verify his story. When Wolf refuses to do this, Jason concocts an elaborate scheme to make Wolf's life a living hell until he relents and helps make things right back home.

Kids will love `Big Fat Liar' for the simple reason that it works as pure adolescent fantasy wish-fulfillment on several levels. First, it shows a youngster getting the rare opportunity of turning a major studio backlot into his own personal playground (the film sometimes feels like a 90-minute commercial for Universal Studios' behind-the-scenes tour). Second, it feeds the desire we all have to watch the tables being turned on a certified rascal. And, third, like any good fantasy for children, it puts the kids in a position of power over the adult world. Jason and his pretty cohort, Kaylee, get to call the shots and pull the strings that eventually get the grownups to pay attention and listen to them.

`Big Fat Liar' might actually have been a better film had it resisted the tendency to overdo so much of its comedy. In fact, the best parts of the film occur near the beginning when Jason and his adventures stay connected to the real world. Once he gets to Hollywood, the film loses a bit of its edge. The cleverness and wit of the film's opening stretches give way to overwrought plot mechanics and over-the-top slapstick. The film has a great deal of undeniable energy, but subtlety can be a virtue as well and we miss that sense of sly fun that defines the film's ambiance early on.

Still, `Big Fat Liar' has more to recommend it than the average teen comedy. First of all, it stars the marvelous Frankie Muniz (`Malcolm in the Middle') who has energy and charm to spare in the role of Jason and who literally keeps the film bouncing along even when the comic setups don't always pay off as well as they should. Muniz is one child actor I will miss when he grows too old to still play these parts. Amanda Byrnes is equally likable as Jason's conspiratorial companion, Kaylee. And even though Paul Giamatti seems to be doing a Jim Carrey impersonation through large sections of the film, this fine comic actor hits heights of magnificent manic madness as the put-upon, hissable villain of the piece. The movie also has a fun time ribbing many of the elements of Hollywood culture – from the unemployed `actors' working as chauffeurs to the has-beens looking for that big career turnabout to the insipid material that often serves as the basis for big studio productions (a movie about a cop teamed up with a crime-fighting chicken is the example here).

`Big Fat Liar' provides mixed blessings for the sophisticated adult audience, but youngsters should enjoy it all.
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Better than Expected
Cyber25670200015 October 2002
When a 14 year old boy has an accident with one of Hollywood's biggest producers, he soon finds that the producer has begun to make a movie off of an English paper story he left in his car. When no one believes the kid he takes his best friend and they go to Hollywood to get the producer to admit that the kid created the story and they are willing to do anything to make sure he admits it. Although this is more for kids it is still a fun comedy for all ages. A good acting job by the young actors. ** out of ****.
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5/10
Very nice kids movie; adults can play spot the connection.
klantry10 February 2002
Broad comedy, minimized violence, recognizable stars - drop the kids off at the matinee and you're in good shape.

If you go along with them, you can play spot the movie connection. Half the movie is set at Universal Studios Los Angeles. Aside from the obvious (character walking past the Norman Bates House, etc.), the producers left dozens of props from other movies lying around. (I already submitted the cars from "Back to the Future" and "How the Grinch Stole Christmas".) It's almost like the movie is one big plug for the Universal Studios tour.

Speaking of plugs: Note the obvious ones for Coca-Cola and the E.T. re-release.

Parental Guidance note: Please be sure to explain to your kids that a) Hollywood is not a nice place to run away to, and b) they shouldn't expect to get hugs and encouragement after they run away.
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5/10
Works best for kids, but parents won't be put-down by it either
Quinoa198410 February 2002
Big Fat Liar is the type of movie I would've liked even more if I was younger and by that I reccomend this movie to the kids and if the parents don't want to go see Collateral Damage or Black Hawk Down or whatever, they might chuckel as well.

Frankie Muniz plays a young teen who is usually lying a lot, and when he really looses a paper for school in a movie producer's (Paul Giamatti's) limo and winds up in summer school, he decides to go with his girlfriend (Amanda Bynes) to Hollywood to confront him. But it isn't as easy as he thought for him to fess up. Giamatti's blue man scenes are some of the funniest scenes he's had in movies since Private Parts. Other scenes vary on the person, however. Grade: B
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6/10
A Harmless Fun Little Movie
Darkest_Rose2 May 2003
Jason Shepherd(Frankie Muniz) is known for always lying to keep himself out of trouble. When he doesn't complete his big english assignment, his teacher says that he has three hours to complete it or he will fail and go to summer school. Jason has a great imagination and he writes a story that's tilted "Big Fat Liar". On the way to hand in his assignment, he gets a ride from a famous hollywood producer Marty Wolf(Paul Giamatti) but unfortunately he forgets his english assignment. in the car, fails and has to go to summer school. He tries to convince his parent and teacher what really happened to his assignment but nobody believes him. A few months after, there is a big blockbuster hit coming out tilted "Big Fat Liar" that's supposedly been written and produced by Marty Wolf. Jason notices that the movie is based on his english paper and that Marty Wolf has stolen his story. Now along with his cute friend Kaylee(Amanda Bynes) Jason will travel to Los Angeles and try to convince everybody what a big fat liar Marty Wolf is. I thought this was a harmless fun little movie. It's nothing special but it has a couple of jokes and it's pretty entertaining. It's more for the younger audience but I still found it to be somewhat enjoyable. I would give Big Fat Liar 6/10
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8/10
Cute,Clean and Kid Friendly
brodie619 February 2002
This Movie is really an entertaining, good clean fun movie, for the kiddies. Kaley(played by Nickelodeon's talented Amanda) is the sidekick to a rambunctious boy who has a hard time telling the truth. He eventually works this into a movie script that gets stolen. I won't bore you with the details. If you have children and want to see an entertaining if not thrilling kids movie, I highly recommend this one.
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8/10
now that was fun to watch it...
rak7820 September 2002
It is a nice comedy. It has the great features of the childhood, lying or trying to get away from own generated troubles. The casting is great, great acting. And the special effects ? Well, some stunts are really impressive. Watch it! :)
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"Big Fat Liar"- 9/10. Fun, fun, and more fun!
movies2u17 January 2004
Big Fat Liar (2002)

There are only three words to describe this movie- fun...fun...fun! Big Fat Liar is about Jason Shepard (Frankie Muniz), an 8th grader who is highly known by his parents and classmates to be a liar about things. At school, Jason learns that if he doesn't turn in an exam to his english teacher by five o'clock that night, then he will be in summer school. While riding his bike there, he is hit by a limo that is transporting Marty Wolff (Paul Giamatti), a nasty, rich, and lying movie producer. Jason gets a ride from him, and accidently leaves his english paper in the limo. When Jason goes to turn it in to his teacher, he realizes the paper is gone, and he tells his parents and teacher what happened- how he got hit by a limo transporting Marty Wolff--- but his parents don't believe him. Marty then steals Jason's story and puts "Big Fat Liar" into production. Now, along with his best friend Kaylee (Amanda Bynes), he must get to Hollywood, track down Marty Wolff, and prove to his parents once and for all that he is not lying. This movie had some fun scenes and moments, and many laughs (mostly from the hilarious Amanda Bynes), and keeps you entertained to the very end. 9/10.
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7/10
I got drug along, but it wasn't bad
MartinHafer11 July 2006
Okay, I'll admit that if I didn't have kids, I never would have seen this film and would never see it. But, considering all the rotten kids movies I have seen (such as SPY KIDS 2 or BABE: PIG IN THE CITY), this is a significant improvement. And, it had enough in it that I wasn't totally bored out of my skull or contemplated suicide (something I did repeatedly in the other two movies). Sure, the performances are pretty broad and the plot is kinda silly--but it IS a kids film. And, compared with other films in the genre, this is definitely better than average. Frankie Muniz and Amanda Bines actually appear to have some talent and probably will continue to have careers after puberty--at least on infomercials or doing voice-overs.

So, if you are looking for a film to see with your kids, you certainly could do a lot worse!
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7/10
Surprisingly enjoyable to an old dude.
jbpink24 August 2003
I saw this movie on my flight from Philly to Denver. The screen was three rows in front of me and about 12" x 10". So I really wasn't going to watch it. But I like Malcolm in the Middle, so I thought I'd watch just a few minutes. Next thing I know I'm sucked in, having a great time, and was pleased as how good it was and how fast it seemed to make the time go by. I agree with that the acting is very good for this level of entertainment. Being one of the older baby boomers, I was also pleased to see Lee Majors with a role in the movie, as with a couple of other actors who were famous (Jamiel?) "yesterday" but are out of the spotlight today poking fun at themselves.

It's your basic "kid is wronged, kid gets even (and then some), and everyone enjoys themselves in the process". No heavy thinking, no great analysis needed. Just a good fun way to pass the time.

3.5 out of 5.
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10/10
One of the best comedies I've seen in many years
rcs84 March 2003
Big Fat Liar is what you get when you combine terrific writing, great production, and an emphasis on clever ideas over adolescent pap. The two stars work great together, and--what can I say? Amanda Bynes shines. Putting "Irkel" and Lee Majors in the film were brilliant touches. Watch this film with your kids. If you don't laugh throughout it, you must not have been paying attention.
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10/10
Funniest movie I've ever saw
matthew_huang8714 April 2007
This is one of the funniest movies I've ever saw. A 14-year old boy Jason Shepherd wrote an English paper called "Big Fat Liar". When his skateboard was taken, he had to use his sister's bike to get to the college on time and he hit a limo. When he went into the limo, he met a famous producer from Hollywood, Marty Wolf. When he left the limo, he forgot one thing: his paper! So Marty Wolf took it and he turned Jason's English paper into a movie! When Jason admitted that he left his paper in the limo and Marty took it, his parents and his English teacher didn't believe him! So Jason and his friend Kaylee had to fly to Los Angeles to go to Hollywood to make Marty admit he stole his story to Jason's parents. When Jason told Marty to call his dad that Marty stole that paper, Marty tricked him and burned his paper! Jason got so angry that Marty burned that paper so Marty called security to get Jason out of his site! Jason and Kaylee realized Marty isn't going to admit the truth. In order to take Marty down in Phase 2: The Takedown, Jason and Kaylee put permanent blue dye into the pool and when Marty jumps in, his body turns all blue and it wouldn't come off! Then they put permanent orange dye in Marty's shampoo and when he uses it, his hair turns all orange and it wouldn't come off too! Finally, they put lots of glue on Marty's earpiece to make him call Jason's father and when Marty uses it, it sticks to his ear! It was funny when Marty's hair and body turns all blue and orange and his headset is glued to his ear! After that, they tricked Marty by telling Monty, who is Marty's assistant, that Duncan moved to a house where there's a party going on. When Marty went in to see Duncan, he was at the wrong house and all the kids at the party beat him up! When Marty was in the house, Jason and Kaylee switched the controls of his car. When Marty drove his car, he knew all the controls were switched and he didn't know which button to push. He's stupid enough to fall for it. When Marty hit the rear end of the masher, the masher wrecked his car! It was so funny. So Marty starts to call Jason's dad and tricked him again! He was on the phone, but it wasn't his father, he called security! After the security got Jason and Kaylee out of Marty's site, they suggested them to go home. Monty was going to be on Jason and Kaylee's side cause she knew that Marty was a liar and a jerk so she told Rocco, who is one of the security guards that she will take care of the kids. Jason told his father the truth of what he's been up to for the past 2 days and had his parents come to L.A. When Monty came to the kids, she's going to help the kids move into Phase 4: The Payback. Jason splits the crew into 3 teams for Phase 4. One team will distract and trick Marty until Jason's parents get to the set. Marty first rode with Frank Jackson, but his car broke down so he rode with Jaleel, but he took him into the desert and leave him there. When Marty was in the desert, a helicopter came to rescue him. After that, one of the blades are jammed so Marty and the pilot got off the helicopter. After that, he was on the way to the set and when Jason saw him, Marty stopped and saw what Jason has: his monkey! So Marty went after Jason and Kaylee and when they saw Lester, he released the water and when the water came, it pushed Marty away. Marty was still after the kids and when Kaylee went the other way, Jason led Marty to the top of the apartment building. At the top, Jason was challenging Marty by making him admit the truth and Marty will never ever tell the truth. When the crew caught Marty in surprise, all the people including Jason's parents who were at the set knew what Marty did. Marty was going to kill Jason but the only way for Jason to escape is jump down from the top! After that, his parents believed him that Marty took his story. When the people who were on the set left, this is the end of Marty. At the end, Jason's story, Big Fat Liar was a movie. I cant get enough of it.
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9/10
Absolutely hilarious movie with a moral to it
Catherine_Grace_Zeh18 November 2005
BIG FAT LIAR, in my opinion, is an absolutely hilarious movie with a moral to it. When Jason (Frankie Muniz - "MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE") and Kaylee (Amanda Bynes - "ALL THAT") played those tricks on Marty (Paul Giamatti - DOCTOR DOLITTLE), I really smiled and felt good. That's what I liked most about this movie. As a matter of fact, everything that happened after Jason's essay erroneously ended up in Marty's hands was hilarious. I especially loved Jaleel White's cameo. When I first saw him, I couldn't be certain, but, when I asked my mother if it was him, she said, "Of course!" Before I wrap this up, I'd like to say, "Like I said earlier, there is a moral to this story, and that moral is, always tell the truth." Now, in conclusion, if you are a fan of Frankie Muniz, Amanda Bynes, or Paul Giamatti, I highly recommend this absolutely hilarious movie with a moral to it.
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Very funny, well done
vchimpanzee12 July 2005
I thought Frankie Muniz did a fine job. And Amanda Bynes was wonderful, especially when her character took the place of Marty's receptionist Astrid, and when she told Marty his meeting would be at a new location.

Paul Giamatti was a very funny clown. I'm not sure what he did could be called good acting, but he was very entertaining and over the top.

Donald Faison was good as the chauffeur and aspiring actor who had auditioned for Marty. Lee Majors was appealing as the helicopter pilot who did some visual effects work for Marty.

The pranks just kept getting wilder and wilder, which was not very realistic, but certainly entertaining for the kids. As for whether this is appropriate for children, I saw nothing wrong with it.
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7/10
Fun Movie for Teens.
parr518 February 2002
This movie was fun! Especially if your between 8 and 15. Frankie Muniz and Amanda Bynes make a believable team of 8th graders getting back at an adult who really deserves it. Paul Giamatti makes a great adult who you really want to 'get'. My 13 year old daughter and her friend loved it. Parents: No really bad words or any sex to worry about. Recommend it for the 'right' crowd. AP
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6/10
Harmless fun, muddled message
justfrank17 February 2002
My daughter and I both enjoyed the movie, as did everyone else in the theater. I'm not sure whether the message was that lying is good or lying is bad. The movie never seemed to make up its mind, but Amanda Bynes is to die for and there's a few good laughs.
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Funny enough!!
williamecook2 January 2004
Just three quick questions:

1. Can you imagine someone saying that Paul Giamatti is a BAD actor? 2. How old do you have to be to completely lose sight of the fact that movies for kids (you know, the kind starring Frankie Muniz and Amanda Bynes) are not the same as the movies that you might like? 3. Is there any reason to wonder why some reviewers are unemployed?

The kids are cute, the scenarios are unlikely at best, and that's what makes them funny (c'mon...the bad guy sleeps with a monkey doll!) and the story makes sense within the world it creates. It's not Gone With the Wind, The Godfather (I OR II!), no. But, it's "probably" not supposed to be either. It's fun enough, even if some of the kids out there don't get it. Trust me...
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boy cries wolf, wolf cries boy.
dpkelly0228 October 2002
this is the greatest recreation of the class clown, underachiever -- I love my teacher but I hate school -- vein of great American storytelling. Not since "Our Gang" have we had a Spanky and Darla who have wreaked so much havoc on a hollywood studio. Proving himself to his dad, and that his dad's approval meant that much to him, makes this a must-see family film. Amanda Bynes is great as the puppy-love buddy of Frankie Muniz and Paul Giamatti is excellent as the villain.
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5/10
Funny
poisonrock293 August 2003
I like Big Fat Liar. My reason for watching this in the first place was because Amanda Bynes is in it and after seeing how hilarious she is in The Amanda Show, i had to check out more of her work. After the success of Home Alone, it would appear that the majority of people enjoy seeing children getting their own back against grown up bullies and this movie is the same thing again. It's not as funny as Home Alone but i never expected it to be, my only regret is that we didn't get to see enough of Amanda Bynes. Big Fat Liar contains many pranks pulled by the teenagers seeking their own back against Marty Wolf, it's fast funny and theres lots of cool music in there too including an 80's tune from Duran Duran, great stuff.
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2/10
This Film Being Funny is a Big Fat Lie.
anaconda-406585 May 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Big Fat Liar (2002): Dir: Shawn Levy / Cast: Frankie Muniz, Amanda Bynes, Paul Giamatti, Jaleel White, Donald Faison: Big fat stupid comedy that looks phony right down to its production values. Title indicates one factor gaining higher level of denial. Frankie Muniz may have to attend summer school if a particular report isn't passed in. It ends up in the hands of greedy filmmaker Marty Wolf who makes a film out of its contents. To prove his innocence Muniz and Amanda Bynes go to Hollywood to obtain the report and sabotage Wolf's career. Mean spirited comedy where the villain's only friend is a stuffed monkey without indication as to why. Screenwriter never examines possible hurts of Wolf but stages him for juvenile sight jokes. Directed by Shawn Levy with Paul Giamatti as the scheming Wolf in a variation of his role in Private Parts where he was much more rounded. Muniz and Bynes become virtually unlikable. Jaleel White spoofs his sitcom role in what appears to make him a good sport but ultimately his leaving his famed Family Matters role left him with bigger matters and this film doesn't solve those. Donald Faison plays a limo driver and struggling actor and after this film he will likely be struggling much more. Honesty theme isn't the focus particularly when one examines the dreadful marketing. This leaves the biggest lie told by the ads. Score: 2 / 10
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2/10
I enjoyed doing my homework over watching this...
KineticSeoul13 July 2014
I remember seeing this trailer and thinking it might be a passable family flick...This is not a family flick, it's strictly for ONLY children that are under 10 to enjoy. Because this flick is super lame and cheesy, and doesn't have a sense of direction. It seemed like an average 12 year old wrote the script to the whole thing in one sitting. Actually even that 12 year old could probably write a much better script than this. It makes the "Captain Underpants" books more readable as an adult than watching through this childish movie. All the acting in this movie is uber childish even for a kids movie. Maybe I am being a bit too harsh on this suppose to be family flick, but this movie is just childish fantasy (so again it might work for kids under 10). The message is about telling the truth, but the direction and journey to get to telling the truth is a real headache. This is a definition of a cardboard movie. The main reason I was able to get through this flick, is because I was doing my homework while watching this. And guess what? I enjoyed doing the homework more.

2.3/10
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9/10
Underrated.... hilarious for parents and kids
B1rd11 June 2008
I just had to add my comment to raise the average on this one. Paul Giamatti lets it all hang out in this one and is a hoot. He would probably say it was easy, but he really does a great job and should have won something for it. We've had the DVD for several years and my kids (boy now 4 1/2 and girl 9) will watch this one over and over, and the humor is adult enough that I don't mind having to hear it in the background (and I do run to the TV for the really funny parts). Simple moral message, lots of decent action and slapstick, "bad" grownups acting goofy to take the edge off, minimal bad language and minimal potty jokes make it hard to beat for a family standard.
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6/10
Fun movie to watch with kids
easmith038 October 2002
This movie belongs in the genre' of movies where the kids are a little brighter than the adults. In this movie its a couple of 14 year olds that seem to be able to out think most of the rest of the world. The movie is light hearted, and isn't to be taken seriously. I'm sure it is a great escape for most all kids. It is entertaining enough that adults will be able to enjoy the movie also, but probably best watched with some children.
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not bad
Movieman0483 March 2002
I saw this movie and it was not that bad.I mean Frankie Munis and Amanda Bynes can act. The movie had some pretty funny moments like when he turned blue and Grandma Pearl .All in all it was funny 8 out of 10.
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6/10
cutesy kids movie
SnoopyStyle8 January 2016
Jason Shepherd (Frankie Muniz) is a well-rehearsed liar. He writes a story "Big Fat Liar" for his assignment. Hollywood producer Marty Wolf (Paul Giamatti) gives him a ride and finds he left behind his assignment. He is forced to attend summer school while Wolf makes the story into a big Hollywood movie. He sees the movie preview but nobody is willing to believe him. With best friend Kaylee (Amanda Bynes), he goes to Hollywood to confront Wolf. Wolf burns up his original paper. He uses his every lying skill to make life impossible for Wolf.

This may not be for the adults but I think the kids would like this. They would find Muniz's antics fun and Bynes is an adorably appealing sidekick. The two kid stars make this kiddie movie work but don't expect more.
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