Big Fat Liar

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For the author, see Jason Shepherd.
Big Fat Liar
Big Fat Liar film.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Shawn Levy
Produced by
Screenplay by Dan Schneider
Story by
  • Dan Schneider
  • Brian Robbins
Starring
Music by Christophe Beck
Cinematography Jonathan Brown
Edited by
  • Stuart Pappé
  • Kimberly Ray
Production
company
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date
  • February 8, 2002 (2002-02-08)
Running time
88 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $15 million[1]
Box office $53 million[1]

Big Fat Liar is a 2002 American teen comedy film, directed by Shawn Levy, written by Dan Schneider and Brian Robbins, and starring Frankie Muniz, Paul Giamatti and Amanda Bynes, with Amanda Detmer, Donald Faison and Lee Majors.

The film tells a story about a 14-year-old pathological liar, Jason Shepherd (Muniz), whose creative writing assignment is stolen by an arrogant Hollywood producer, Marty Wolf (Giamatti), who later plans to use it to make the fictional film of the same name. It was released in the United States on February 8, 2002.

Plot[edit]

Jason Shepherd is a 14-year-old chronic liar who is constantly deceiving and misleading his way out of trouble. He tries to get out of his creative writing essay by making up a lie, but gets caught by his English teacher, Ms. Caldwell, who alerts his parents. He is given three hours to submit his essay, otherwise he will fail English and go to summer school. On his way to turn it in, he is struck by the limousine of Hollywood producer Marty Wolf, who gives him a ride to the community college. Along the way, when Jason admits that he is a liar, Marty admit that he, too, is a liar, but a more professional one than Jason. In a rush, Jason accidentally forgets his essay in the limo; Marty initially tries to return it, but is inspired by the story when he reads it and he decides to keep it for himself.

Jason realizes his essay is missing and tries to explain what happened, but neither his parents nor Ms. Caldwell believe him, and he is sent to summer school. Later, he and his best friend Kaylee see a preview for a film produced by Wolf Pictures titled "Big Fat Liar", realizing it was plagiarized from Jason's essay. Determined to convince his parents he was being truthful, Jason and Kaylee fly to Los Angeles to confront Marty. Upon arrival, they trick limo driver and struggling actor Frank Jackson into giving them a ride to the Wolf Pictures studio. Jason sneaks into Marty's office, hoping to convince him to tell his parents what really happened, but Marty burns the essay and has Jason and Kaylee thrown out. Angered, the two decide to inconvenience him until he admits the truth, with Jackson joining them due to his own troubled history with Marty. After gathering information about Marty's cruel and abusive treatment of his employees, they begin to sabotage him through various pranks, such as dying his skin blue and hair orange, super gluing his headset, sending him to a child's birthday party where he is mistaken for the hired clown, and modifying the controls to his car, which is destroyed by a wrestler known as "The Masher".

These pranks make Marty miss his appointment with his boss, Universal Pictures president Marcus Duncan. After Marty's previous film proves to be a critical and commercial failure, Marcus loses confidence in him and threatens to pull production for Big Fat Liar. Jason approaches Marty and agrees to help in exchange for his confession. Guided by Jason, he makes a successful presentation which convinces Marcus's wife, Shandra, to green-light Big Fat Liar, but Marcus warns Marty any mistakes will cause Universal to pull funding and end his career. Marty, however, betrays Jason again and calls security to arrest him and Kaylee. Marty's assistant, Monty Kirkham, decides to help Jason and Kaylee expose him, having grown tired of his repeated verbal abuse. They rally all of his employees and devise a plan to stop him once and for all.

The next morning, as Marty heads to the studio to begin shooting, many of his employees make him be late through multiple mishaps. As Marty finally arrives at the studio, he witnesses Jason kidnapping his stuffed monkey, Mr. Funny Bones. After a chase across the studio, Marty catches Jason on a rooftop and childishly celebrates his victory. He mocks Jason and tells him that he will never admit the truth to anyone, confessing that he stole Jason's story in the process. However, the conversation is revealed to have been caught on camera and is witnessed by many people including Marty's employees, the news media, Jason's parents, and Marcus. Disgusted by his plagiarism and dishonesty, Marcus immediately fires Marty, while Jason reunites with his parents, finally regaining their trust.

In the aftermath, Universal produces Big Fat Liar, utilizing the talents and skills of all those whom Marty had abused, and the film is released in theaters, with Jason being credited for having written the original story. Meanwhile, Marty, having been stripped of his career, declares bankruptcy and begins his new job as a birthday clown. Unfortunately, he is recognized by The Masher, who orders his son, Darren, to show Marty his nutcracker maneuver. Marty screams in horror as Darren charges at him and kicks his crotch, causing him to groan in pain.

Cast[edit]

  • Frankie Muniz as Jason Shepherd, a 14-year-old compulsive liar and slacker who, despite his slacker personality, is actually very intelligent and a close friend of Kaylee
  • Paul Giamatti as Marty Wolf, an arrogant Hollywood producer, founder of the fictional Wolf Pictures film studio and compulsive liar who, unlike Jason, does not care how his lies affect other people
  • Amanda Bynes as Kaylee, Jason's best friend
  • Donald Faison as Frank Jackson, a limo driver and struggling actor who helps Jason and Kaylee in their mission to defeat Marty
  • Russell Hornsby as Marc Duncan, Marty's boss and president of Universal Pictures
  • Amanda Detmer as Monty Kirkham, Marty's long suffering assistant
  • Michael Bryan French as Harry Shepherd, Jason's father
  • Christine Tucci as Carol Shepherd, Jason's mother
  • Alex Breckenridge as Jamie Shepherd, Jason's irresponsible older sister
  • Sandra Oh as Ms. Phyllis Caldwell, Jason's English teacher
  • Rebecca Corry as Astrid Barker, the dog-loving receptionist at the Wolf Pictures studio
  • Jaleel White as himself – often called Urkel
  • Lee Majors as Vince, an aging, but nevertheless qualified, stunt director
  • Sean O'Bryan as Leo
  • Amy Hill as Jocelyn Davis
  • John Cho as Dusty Wong, the director
  • Taran Killam as Bret Callaway, a skateboard punk who consistently bullies Jason, and also has a crush on Kaylee
  • Jake Minor as Aaron
  • Kyle Swann as Brett
  • Sparkle (born Rachel Glusman) as Grandma Pearl, Kaylee's senile grandmother
  • Chris Ott as Shandra Duncan, Marc's wife
  • Kenan Thompson, Dustin Diamond, Shawn Levy, Corinne Reilly, and Bart Myer as party guests
  • Brian Turk as The Masher, a wrestler and monster truck driver
  • John Gatins as George, a tow truck driver
  • Don Yesso as Rocko Malone, Marty's security boss

Production[edit]

Filming[edit]

The film was filmed at Universal Studios Hollywood, the Flash Flood set, and Los Angeles International Airport, as well as in Glendale, Monrovia, Pasadena, and Whittier, California.

Soundtrack[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Come on Come on" Smash Mouth 2:33
2. "Conant Gardens" Slum Village 3:03
3. "Me Myself and I" Jive Jones  
4. "I Wish" Hairbrain 3:11
5. "Eye of the Tiger" Survivor 4:29
6. "Hungry Like the Wolf" Duran Duran 3:41
7. "Blue (Da Ba Dee)" Eiffel 65 4:40
8. "Diablo" Triple Seven  
9. "Disco Inferno" The Trammps 10:54
10. "Party Time" The Grand Skeem 3:32
11. "Backlash" The Grand Skeem  
12. "Where ya at" The Grand Skeem  
13. "Mind Blow" Zion-1  
14. "Right Here Right Now" Fatboy Slim  
15. "Move It Like This" Baha Men 3:51

Release[edit]

The film was released in cinemas on February 8, 2002 by Universal Pictures and was released on VHS and DVD on September 24, 2002 by Universal Studios Home Entertainment.

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

Amanda Bynes' performance was praised by critics

The film grossed $48.4 million in the U.S. and Canada and $4.6 million in other countries for a worldwide total of $53 million, against a budget of $15 million.[1]

The film grossed $11.6 million in its opening weekend, finishing in second at the box office behind Collateral Damage ($15.1 million).

Critical response[edit]

Big Fat Liar received mixed reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 42% based on 92 reviews with an average rating of 4.9/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Though there's nothing that offensive about Big Fat Liar, it is filled with Hollywood cliches and cartoonish slapstick, making it strictly for kids."[2] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 36 out of 100 based on 24 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[3] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A–" on an A+ to F scale.[4]

Some critics praised the film as energetic and witty; others called it dull and formulaic. On the positive side, Ebert and Roeper gave it "Two Thumbs Up". Critic David Palmer gave it a 7/10, stating that it is a fun one for people who love the behind the scenes of making movies, and "not awful considering it's a kids film".

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominee Result Refs
2002 Teen Choice Awards Choice Chemistry Amanda Bynes and Frankie Muniz Nominated [5]
Young Artist Awards Best Family Feature Film – Comedy Big Fat Liar Nominated [6]
Best Performance in a Feature Film – Leading Young Actress Amanda Bynes Nominated [6]
2003 Kids' Choice Awards Favorite Movie Actress Amanda Bynes Won [7]

Sequel[edit]

A sequel to Big Fat Liar began filming in August 2016.[8] The film, titled Bigger Fatter Liar, will star Ricky Garcia as Kevin Shepherd, Jodelle Ferland, and Barry Bostwick and will be released in April 2017.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Big Fat Liar (2002)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved April 3, 2016. 
  2. ^ "Big Fat Liar". rottentomatoes.com. February 8, 2002. 
  3. ^ "Big Fat Liar". Metacritic. 
  4. ^ http://m.cinemascore.com
  5. ^ "2002 Teen Choice Awards [page 2]". The Oklahoman. August 18, 2002. Retrieved February 9, 2017. 
  6. ^ a b "24th Annual Young Artist Awards". YoungArtistAwards.org. Archived from the original on December 4, 2016. 
  7. ^ Gary Susman (April 14, 2003). "Sandler, Bynes, win big at Kids Choice Awards". Retrieved February 9, 2017. 
  8. ^ "Legion Season 1, Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce, Beaches & Big Fat Liar 2 Start Filming". What's Filming?. August 15, 2016. Retrieved February 9, 2017. 
  9. ^ "From Universal Pictures Home Entertainment: Ricky Garcia And Barry Bostwick Go Head To Head In The All-New Side-Splitting Comedy Bigger Fatter Liar" (Press release). Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. February 8, 2017. Retrieved February 9, 2017 – via KUSI. 

External links[edit]