Due to a scheduling mishap, I jumped into this
film at least fifteen minutes after it began. My
apologies to both the filmmakers and my readers, this
cannot be a legitimate review. With that
qualification, read on...
I liked it. Paul Giamatti, blue with orange hair:
what part of painting an adult buffoon-blue isn't
funny to a little kid? Hey, it's funny to me.
Perhaps, I'm biased, I'm a fan of Giamatti. While the
other critics scoffed at a little film he starred in
- I adored it (mostly because of his talented
buffoonery). Probably, even less noticed (because he
was an ape), he provided the only humor and "fun"
bits (aside from ol' Chuck's brilliant cameo) in the
larger release "Planet of the Apes"
In "Big Fat Liar," Giamatti plays a slimy LA
writer/director (Wolf) who swipes a story from a
14-year-old's English paper in order to create his
newest film project. Jason (Muniz), whose lies have
already earned him distrust, takes off to Hollywood
in order to coerce Wolf into clarifying the true
ownership of ideas. Wolf is not about to be
challenged by anybody (let alone a teen); hence,
Jason resorts to practical jokes, booby-traps, and
slapstick in order to whittle Wolf down to a
desperate broken man.
So there you have it, a kid harassing an adult
until said adult cracks. Since Wolf's personality
wins him an army of enemies (many familiar faces from
TV's past), Jason finds plenty of allies.
Director Levy keeps a clipping pace, always with
an eye for visual fun. One shot burned itself into my
memory. Paul Giamatti flustered, exhausted and dusty,
stands in the middle of the desert searching
desperately for a mode of transportation ... and then
the sound of propeller blades as a studio chopper
drops into the frame behind him. Before turning to
see it, he shows us the "fight" he still has left in
his eyes. This is just a silly movie, but that was a
I suppose missing the beginning sequences could
have been a blessing, but as it stands ... I left the
theater wishing I hadn't missed them. Good Family
fun, in the "Home Alone" vein.