Common Sense Media says
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this film contains strong language and a scene in which a character beats himself up very badly. There is also a seduction scene, though without any nudity or actual sex.
What's the story?
Jim Carrey is a funny guy, and in LIAR LIAR he gives a funny performance as Fletcher Reede, a lawyer who gets through life by telling many lies. Some of them are little white lies, like complimenting his not-so-attractive coworkers on their appearance. Some are bigger, like getting his petty criminal clients out of trouble. But the worst lies he tells are to his son Max, who he's neglecting for work. Max's birthday wish is that his father will be rendered incapable of lying for one day, and the wish comes true. Fletcher is completely unable to lie, throwing his professional and personal lives into utter chaos.
Is it any good?
The moral is pretty easy to grasp -- it's better to tell the truth than to lie. But in the rush to get to the happy ending, the film avoids the more complex issues involved. For example, when Fletcher tells his coworkers what he really thinks of them, he insults and hurts them, and his adoring secretary walks out on him (though later she walks back -- this is a comedy, after all). But that gets swept aside as Fletcher tries to stop his ex-wife from moving to Boston with her new boyfriend and Max.
In fact, the whole premise boils down to Fletcher telling Max he loves him, something we've never really doubted. Basically, this is a vehicle for Carrey, and he runs with it, doing his usual impressive rubber-bodied antics and clearly improvising quite a bit of the comedy. It's entertaining but ultimately rather hollow.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about lying and how it affects people. When Fletcher was telling lies he got into a certain kind of trouble, but when he had to tell the truth, he found trouble of a different sort. Is it ever okay to lie?