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Parents' Guide to

A Liar's Autobiography: The Untrue Story of Monty Python's Graham Chapman

By Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Comedian's animated life story is filled with sex, alcohol.

Movie R 2012 85 minutes
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It's important to understand just what A LIAR'S AUTOBIOGRAPHY is before going in, or it can easily confuse. Even though he died in 1989, the actual Chapman narrates, thanks to an audio recording made before his death. Four of Chapman's former Monty Python colleagues -- John Cleese, Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam, and Terry Jones -- provide voices (Eric Idle was not involved).

The movie's animation style changes radically for every sequence. Some, such as a sequence aboard a military aircraft, fall flat. Others deliberately evoke the surreal, sometimes off-putting style of Yellow Submarine. Strangely, Chapman doesn't really talk much about his actual achievements with Monty Python -- only the side effects. And for a movie about a famed comedian, A Liar's Autobiography really isn't very funny. It's when Chapman gets close to the truth of his life story that the movie really comes alive; his pain and suffering become apparent, and he becomes sympathetic, rather than snarky.

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