Each Monday, we pick out an overlooked gem from movie times past – and give them the spotlight they so dearly deserve.
This week, it’s the turn of inspired 1997 Jim Carrey comedy Liar Liar. Here are five unconventional reasons why it’s an underrated classic.
1. It’s Jim Carrey’s most gleefully insane performance
He may have gone on establish himself as a fine dramatic actor, but back when Carrey was still mostly known as a modern-day slapstick king, this was the absolute pinnacle of his manic, physical antics. Playing a sleazy lawyer and absentee father rendered unable to lie thanks to his son’s birthday wish, seeing him descend further and further into unhinged insanity is simply extraordinary.
Witness the scene where he desperately beats himself up to try and postpone a key court case:
2. It’s brutally honest
Fittingly enough, the film doesn’t sugar-coat its subject matter despite the whimsical tone and mad-cap moments. Fletcher is a lousy dad in serious need of a wake-up call; and the movie is also pretty damn accurate at pin-pointing all those little white lies, neglected admissions and huge great whoppers we tell in our everyday lives.
3. The board room scene
Several years before hypnosis-induced honesty provided unexpected workplace benefits in the brilliant Office Space, Liar Liar had its lead character stun – and unexpectedly delight – an entire array of company big-wigs by not pulling any punches with his words. It’s a thing of hilarious beauty: “See you later, dickhead!”
4. Claw fail
Yep, that’s the Princess Bride’s lovable Cary Elwes utterly failing to charm his girlfriend’s kid as the kind-hearted but rather boring Jerry. Fletcher’s love rival may be a nice guy – but his embarrassing attempts to pull off Carrey’s signature ‘claw’ move prove he’s out of his depth.
5. The outtakes
Possibly the funniest blooper reel in existence, you really do get a glorious sense of the sheer energy that must have been on set – and just how much the entire cast and crew were enjoying themselves.
Watch the trailer:
More underrated classics
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
From Dusk Til Dawn
The Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists
The Assassination of Jesse James
Without a Paddle
Grave of the Fireflies
The Adventures of Tintin
The Invention Of Lying
The Money Pit
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