Monday, May 31, 2010

Movie Review: "Big Fat Liar"

Frankie Muniz and Amanda Bynes shine in this feel-good tween flick about two kids who try to outsmart a snobby Hollywood producer (Paul Giamatti). I notice that whenever this comes on TV, the entire family sort of gravitates to the living room and ends up watching it through to the end!

Muniz (Malcolm in the Middle, Agent Cody Banks) plays Jason Shepherd, who has the bad habit of lying to keep out of trouble. When he tells his dad a wild tale about losing his English paper to a crazy guy who gave him a ride, his dad shakes his head and basically stops trusting him at all. But this time, Jason was telling the truth, and he'll do anything to convince his dad he deserves his trust!

His friend Kaylee (Bynes, of "The Amanda Show" and "She's the Man") goes along for the ride when Jason sneaks off to L.A. to confront Marty Wolf (Giamatti, now starring in the HBO miniseries, "John Adams"), the thief. The kids soon find out Wolf plans to make a movie from Jason's "Big Fat Liar" story, without giving Jason the credit for his ideas. When Jason tries to reason with Wolf, he gets hauled out by security!

While this scene is going on, Bynes is in another scene putting on a star performance as a kooky phone operator, in the tradition of her many "The Amanda Show" characters.

Leave it to a couple of kids to figure out how to drive an adult crazy. Using props from Universal Studios, the kids do all sorts of rotten (and hilarious) things to Wolf. So who do you think will prevail in the end? Will it be the resourceful tweenagers, or the big bully?

Other points of interest include a cameo appearance by Jaleel White (formerly Steve Urkel on "Family Matters"), and by Lee Majors ("The Six Million Dollar Man"). Sandra Oh also makes an appearance in the film.

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