Making the Grades
TRUTH MAY BE OVERRATED according to movie director Marty Wolf (Paul Giamatti), but he's about to discover the consequences of exaggeration when he crosses paths with another consummate liar. Jason Shepherd (Frankie Muniz) is a 14-year-old fibber who has told one too many tales causing a serious overdraft in his parents' "trust" fund. When he claims that Wolf has stolen his English assignment and turned it into a hit movie script, his parents assume his accusation is just another fabricated story. Suddenly Shepherd realizes he has cried wolf one too many times.
Wanting to regain his parent's confidence, Shepherd coerces his best friend Kaylee (Amanda Bynes) into helping him get a confession from the egocentric and ill-tempered Hollywood hotshot. Spinning a web of tales to cover their tracks, they buy two airline tickets and head for Los Angeles. But even after worming their way into his office, Wolf refuses to admit he has lied and destroys the evidence. Determined to make the big bad guy own up to his thievery, the two travelers from Michigan implement Phase One of their tell-the-truth scheme.
Hiding out in a prop warehouse on the filming grounds, the teenaged pair dips into the studio's special effects items. Using blue dye, super glue, and Wolf's stolen handheld organizer, they join forces with a host of disgruntled employees (Amanda Detmer, Lee Majors, Donald Adeosun Faison) to sabotage the producer's life until he is ready to come clean.
Mimicking the kind of cartoon violence made popular in movies like the Home Alone series, Big Fat Liar's teens come off slightly milder than the monstrous Macaulay Culkin. But their mean-spirited pranks are still not something parents would want to see re-enacted at home. Tossed into the messy mix are a few mild profanities, terms of Deity and some crude bathroom humor.
Big Fat Liar illustrates the chasm between the art of good storytelling used to entertain others, and the harmful habit of lying to stay out of trouble. While taking a bit of a vigilante premise, this film still proves that personal integrity is a trait worth having.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Big Fat Liar.
This movie illustrates how liars often ensnare more than themselves in their falsehoods. How did Kaylee and Monty feel about being forced into lying for someone else?
How important is it to you to have your parents’ trust? In what situations might it be important to have them believe you? Although Jason proved to his parents that he was telling the truth about the paper, do you think they may still question what he says, at least for a while?