Liar Liar Movie Poster Image

Liar Liar

(i)

 

Goofy '90s Carrey comedy has lots of profanity, sex.
  • Review Date: August 11, 2005
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 1997
  • Running Time: 97 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Explores the negative impact lying has on close relationships and how it's better in the long run to tell the truth. 

Positive role models

The lead character is a lawyer whose extramarital affairs led to his wife divorcing him, and his continued lies lead to continuous disappointment for his son. Despite his son's birthday wish that he has to be completely honest for one whole day actually working and the lead character learning valuable and worthwhile lessons on the importance of honesty, the over-the-top performance overshadows any lessons, thus not making him much of a role model. 

Violence

A character beats himself up quite violently. While in jail, the woman who bails out the lead character makes reference to sexual molestation in jail. Reckless driving. 

Sex

A seduction scene, though without any nudity or actual sex. Sexual advances. An ex-husband asks his ex-wife questions about her sex life. During a court case, a tape recording presented as evidence plays a man and a woman having passionate sex. During this same court case, Jim Carrey's character throws out a series of euphemisms for sex. In an elevator, he makes suggestive comments about a woman's large breasts. At work, a coworker asks "How's it hangin'?," and Carrey's character says, "Short, shriveled, and a little to the left." 

Language

Frequent profanity: "S--t," "prick," "d--k," "bastard," "d--khead," "a--hole," "jerk off." Middle-finger gesture. Several euphemisms for sex used. 

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Wine drinking at dinner. A woman on a plane chugs a cup of wine in one sip. 

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Liar Liar is a 1997 comedy starring Jim Carrey as an attorney who is both dishonest at work and at home and is taught a lesson when his son wishes that he be forced to tell the truth for one whole day. This film contains a scene in which a character beats himself up very badly. There is also a seduction scene, though without any nudity or actual sex. During a courtroom scene, a tape recording presented as evidence plays a man and a woman having loud and passionate sex. There is frequent profanity, including "s--t," and a series of euphemisms for sex. In an elevator, Fletcher makes suggestive comments about a woman's large breasts. At work, a coworker asks, "How's it hangin'?," and Fletcher says, "Short, shriveled, and a little to the left." Expect reckless driving in one scene. While Fletcher is in jail, his secretary makes a joke about prison molestation. 

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, such as his compliments to his not-so-attractive coworkers on their appearance. Some are bigger, such as the ones he tells to get his petty criminal clients out of trouble. But the worst lies he tells are to his son Max, whom 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?

QUALITY

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 OK to lie?

  • Besides Liar Liar, what are some other examples of movies in which the plot centers on the style or persona of a famous actor? Why do you think movies like these -- called "star vehicles" -- get made? 

  • What are some other examples of movies in which physical humor is employed? What do you think is the appeal of this type of humor? 

Movie details

Theatrical release date:March 21, 1997
DVD release date:December 31, 1999
Cast:Jim Carrey, Justin Cooper, Maura Tierney
Director:Tom Shadyac
Studio:Universal Pictures
Genre:Comedy
Run time:97 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:strong language and sexual situations

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Kid, 12 years old April 19, 2009
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Teen, 14 years old Written byCSM Screen Name... April 9, 2008
Teen, 16 years old Written bybandgeek03 April 19, 2009

If you love comedy, you will love this!!

This movie is hilarious!!
What other families should know
Too much swearing

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