Friday, March 16, 2012

Scene Stealer: Liar Liar

Do you remember when Jim Carrey made funny movies? There was a time when he had a glorious string of smart, successfully comedies; films in which he used his penchant for physical comedy and his big personality to deliver truly hilarious performances. In Liar Liar, Jim Carrey brilliantly portrays Fletcher Reede, a dishonest father who suddenly can’t tell a lie. He uses his signature manic comic energy and combines it with hilarious slapstick comedy and clever innuendo.

Fletcher has a 5-year-old son named Max who no longer believes a word his father says. “My dad’s a liar,” Max says one day in class. “You mean “a lawyer,” his teacher replies. “Whatever,” Max retorts. Fletcher is a hot shot lawyer with a rising career and is so busy with cases that he misses his son’s birthday. When Max blows out the candles on his birthday cake, he wishes that for one day his dad can’t tell a lie. And his wish comes true.

What ensues is absolute hilarity. The movie orchestrates one funny situation after another in which Fletcher cannot lie no matter how hard he tries. As a lawyer who cannot lie, his day attempting to defend an adulterous client in a big-bucks divorce case goes very badly. There’s trouble in the courtroom since Fletcher cannot effectively plead his client’s case since it’s based on falsehoods, half-truths and lies. “How are you today, counselor?” the judge asks. “I'm a little upset about a bad sexual episode last night,'' Fletcher replies. He is forced to respond truthfully to absolutely every question he’s asked, and he realizes that he’s in a serious pickle. Panicked and desperate, Fletcher asks for a short recess and escapes to the bathroom to regain his composure.

Once there, he comes up with a plan to try and force a continuance in court. In an astonishing display of energetic, frenetic and uproariously funny physical comedy, Fletcher basically beats himself up by rubbing soap into his eyes and throwing himself into walls and onto the floor. He covers himself with trash, strangles himself with his own tie and pounds himself in the head with a toilet seat in order to fake being mugged. The best part about this scene is when, after witnessing Fletcher beat himself senseless, another gentleman in the bathrooms asks, “What the hell are you doing?” To which Fletcher responds, “I’m kicking my own ass! Do you mind?” It’s Jim Carrey at his best and it is hands-down one of my favourite Jim Carrey comedies.


3 comments:

  1. I have a soft spot for this film. This was when Carrey was funny. My favorite scene in the film is when he's in the board room and called upon everyone's bullshit and makes his boss laugh.

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  2. My favorite scene is where he meets the new woman in the elevator - the gorgeous one with the low-cut top. She says that everyone there has been so nice in welcoming her and Carrey responds, "That's because of your enormous breasts." It's so funny precisely because it is so true in the real world.

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  3. @thevoid99 - I really like this film too. Coincidentally, I discovered it on TV the weekend I wrote this post and it was as entertaining as ever.

    You know, I almost picked the boardroom scene as the scene stealer for this post, but I found myself laughing really hard at Jim Carrey kicking his own ass so I went with that. But the boardroom scene is great too.

    @Chip Lary - that's another great scene. I think what makes the film so much fun is watching this guy who is forced to speak without a filter and to say exactly what's on his mind.

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