Big Fat Liar

MPAA Rating: PG

Entertainment: +2

Content: +2

Lots of people lie to get ahead of the game, but what happens when the lie is found out? In town to visit the set of his new film, struggling movie producer Marty Wolf?s (Paul Giamatti) limo runs into young Jason Shepherd (Frankie Muniz), who?s hurrying to turn in a paper to his English teacher. After getting Wolf to give him a ride, Shepherd mistakenly leaves his story in Wolf?s car. A few months later, Jason sees a preview for a new movie by Wolf, plainly taken from his English paper. So, when his parents leave town, Jason travels with his friend Kaylee (Amanda Bynes) to Los Angeles, to get Wolf to admit what he?s done. Of course, Wolf refuses to admit the truth, leaving Jason and Amanda to take more extreme measures to force Wolf?s admission. What follows is a series of Home Alone-type pranks to get Wolf flustered enough to admit his lie. This film is simple in concept and aimed at the 10-14 year old crowd. However, it should be an entertaining diversion for its target audience. While certainly not a classic, it fills a niche and stars familiar faces, which should make it fairly popular.

The film?s message, as one might expect from the title, is that in the end, it always pays to tell the truth. If you don?t, you lose something of incredible value ? the trust of those closest to you. However, to learn this lesson, Jason often has to lie and deceive his way through various obstacles. This could lead to a good family discussion of Abraham?s lies about his wife or Rahab in the Bible, the woman in Jericho who lied to protect the spies of Israel. While the issue can be complicated, the film should provide opportunities to discuss with children telling the truth versus lying. The dialogue includes one mild obscenity and a couple of crude comments made for laughs by a grandmother. And bad guy Marty berates and belittles all those around him, but that behavior is clearly frowned upon. Other than some questionable dialogue, BIG FAT LIAR can be recommended for ages 10 and up.

Preview Reviewer: John Adair
Universal Pictures, 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Several (5) times ? All Mild

Obscene Language: Once (other)

Profanity: Several (6) times ? Regular 1 (G); Exclamatory 5 (Jeez, OMG)

Violence: Several times ? Mild and Moderate (kid falls from skateboard, kid pushed around/ hit by car, man tackled by kids, car smashed by truck, people trip and fall, kid jumps from top of building onto giant air mattress)

Sex: None

Nudity: Near Nudity ? Few times (man in brief swimsuit)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: None

Other: Movie praises telling the truth in the end, although character lies along the way; grandmother makes questionable comments; mean person berates and makes fun of people

Running Time: 88 minutes
Intended Audience: Ages 10 and up

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