Jim Carrey is so incapable of pretending to be a functioning, sincere member of the human species that they ought to come up with another word for what he does, because it isn't acting. Consequently, this film becomes a bizarre parable about how nice guys might as well kill themselves because jerks like Carrey can come along at any moment and seduce their women by making goofy faces and performing funny hand gestures.
As foil to Carrey's caricature, Jerry (Cary Elwes) faces the inevitable screwing because he's the boyfriend of Fletcher Reede's (Carrey) ex-wife, Audrey Reede (Maura Tierney). Jerry is basically your normal guy: not very funny, but honest, sensitive and caring. Fletcher, on the other hand, is a dishonest scumball lawyer. When Fletcher's son, Max (Justin Cooper), wishes his dad could be totally honest for just one day and his wish comes true, Carrey lopes into a series of predictable situations in which he's forced to tell the truth.
Carrey sucks the meager soul of this film dry as easily as one might suck the filling out of a Twinkie. By attending to his career, Fletcher condemns Audrey and his boy to a life of humorless misery with straight man Jerry. Unfortunately, Carrey's stellar acting leaves Audrey with a choice between a boring dork and a deceitful, manic wind-up toy, rendering the film's supposed happy ending a choice between two equally depressing alternatives.
Ultimately, director Tom ("The Nutty Professor") Shadyac's answer to Audrey's inexplicable switch from Jerry to Fletcher is simply this: Since America loves Jim Carrey, Audrey must love Jim Carrey too. At that point, one can only conclude that Audrey is an idiot who deserves her woeful fate: a lifetime partner who expresses love by making wacky faces during sex.
To spread the word about this Liar Liar review on Twitter.To get instant updates of Mr. Cranky reviews, subscribe to our RSS feed.