As Ace Ventura, Jim Carrey demonstrated his remarkable gift for talking out of his ass -- literally. In Liar Liar, Carrey does the same thing, this time figuratively. While the movie's storyline won't win any awards any time soon, it features Carrey at his hilarious best.
In his latest role, Carrey plays corrupt lawyer (there's the redundancy of the week) Fletcher Reede, whose son wishes that, for a single day, his dad would be unable to tell a lie. Thanks to the bizarre powers that be in Hollywood, the wish comes true.
Most of Liar Liar's great moments stem from the fact that Carrey must respond with brutal candor to anything he's asked: when an office buddy casually inquires, "How's it hangin'?" Carrey explains, "Short, shrivelled, and always to the left." When a curvaceous new arrival in Carrey's building comments on how nice everyone's been to her, Carrey deadpans "That's because you've got big jugs."
Carrey ends up taking on the divorce case of (very) adulterous client Samantha Cole (Jennifer Tilly) while also trying to earn a promotion and win back his son's trust. Carrey's legal efforts are naturally hampered by his inability to lie, which makes for some interesting courtroom drama: a perfunctory "how's everyone doing?" from the judge prompts Carrey to confess, "I'm a little upset about a bad sexual episode I had last night."
The film's hilarity is somewhat diluted by annoying and unnecessary sappiness. Every moment Fletcher spends convincing his son that he loves him is humorless and saccharine, and by the end of the film, these moments add up.
But fear not: in the end, Carrey's charm and fantastic talent earn enough laughs to win over even the harshest critic. Despite the film's 80 minute running time, there are enough genuinely hilarious moments to make Liar Liar worth watching.
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