Paul Giamatti, Big Fat Liar
Credit: Big Fat Liar: Sam Urdank

A sleaze-bucket Hollywood producer (Paul Giamatti) steals a short story written by Jason (Frankie Muniz), a 14-year-old compulsive liar, and uses it as the basis for his new film. That premise probably says more about the way that bad comedies get packaged these days than the creators of Big Fat Liar intended. To prove that he’s an upright kid after all, Jason journeys to the West Coast and proceeds to humiliate the producer into owning up to his theft. He does this primarily by filling the scoundrel’s swimming pool and shampoo tube with brightly colored ink, thus setting up the central ”gag” of this noisy, frantic dud: Paul Giamatti, with blue skin and orange hair, racing around L.A. in the kind of bug-eyed apoplectic sputter that no actor has done half as well as Curly Howard. How appealing is Muniz, taking a break from ”Malcolm in the Middle,” a day job he should by no means let go of? Let’s call him the next-generation Fred Savage. D

Big Fat Liar
  • Movie
  • 83 minutes