Big Fat Liar

Bomb Rating: 

In case one precocious 14-year-old isn't nauseating enough, this film heaps on two.

In the warped sphere of Hollywood, do any children even exist who are not painfully, gratingly precocious? Is there some law requiring kids to be portrayed as wise beyond their years, or at least wiser than any of the adults around them? Have these moviemakers even met an actual human child, or are they so busy whipping up dreamy inaccuracies about family life that they've failed to notice their own kids, who divide their unsupervised days between forging prescriptions and joining the Taliban?

In case one precocious 14-year-old isn't nauseating enough, this film heaps on two: Jason Shepherd (Frankie Muniz) and his friend Kaylee (Amanda Bynes). They join forces to outwit Hollywood producer Marty Wolf (Paul Giamatti), who has stolen Jason's English paper and plans to turn it into a huge Hollywood blockbuster.

I guess I'm supposed to believe that Jason and Kaylee are just friends, but if I were fourteen and I had a "friend" who looked like Kaylee, I'd also have a "friend" who stood at attention 24 hours a day, made it nearly impossible for me to walk or put on tight pants, and required constant, hands-on care.

Our precocious young heroes travel to L.A. after they find out about the plans for "Big Fat Liar" -- Wolf's movie -- and demand that Marty call Jason's parents and explain the situation. You see, all Jason wants is for Wolf to call his parents and explain that he did actually write the paper. Jason is a notorious liar and the missing paper is sort of the final straw for his parents. His dad no longer believes he's telling the truth. I presume you get the "boy who cried Wolf" reference. Incredibly clever, isn't it? Made me want to cry.

When Marty won't do this simple thing, Jason and Kaylee decide to terrorize him. They pour dye into his pool and break into his house, naturally outsmarting the Hollywood producer and getting what they want. Thus Jason -- and the kiddies in the audience -- learns the value of telling the truth. Not to mention the value of stalking and terrorizing anybody who crosses you.

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