Big Fat Liar (review)

Finally, the truth can be told. Hollywood movies — you know, the kind that are declared blockbusters a year in advance of their release — are actually written by 14- year- old boys in three hours under penalty of failing English class. And then the stories get stolen by unscrupulous movie producers. How else to explain the provenance of this witless, illogical, shockingly stupid, and morally reprehensible revenge “comedy”? Paul Giamatti (Planet of the Apes), whose character-actor charm is wearing thin, swipes a school paper from that Malcolm in the Middle kid Frankie Muniz (My Dog Skip), in the first of many oh-so-convenient plot points, and when the kid learns that his tale is the basis for next summer’s most anticipated piece of crap, Frankie goes to Hollywood to give him what-for, and to prove to his dad that he really did write that paper. There’s no scolding of the movie biz in the offing here — not a whiff of satire is to be found; rather, the excesses and idiocies of Hollywood are celebrated, which leads to head-shakers like the setting of this Universal film almost entirely on the Universal Studios lot, resulting in a prominent advertisement for a major L.A. tourist attraction and lots and lots of inane visual references to other Universal flicks (Frankie camps out in the props and costume warehouse — good thing no one ever goes in there). And remember, kids: A good way to earn back Dad’s trust after you’ve been a real little shit is to fly halfway across the country and commit a slew of misdemeanors and several possible felonies — no, it’s true: Dad says so!

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