Big Fat Liar

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Big Fat Liar
Big Fat Liar film.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Shawn Levy
Produced by Brian Robbins
Mike Tollin
Marie Cantin
Screenplay by Dan Schneider
Story by Dan Schneider
Brian Robbins
Starring Frankie Muniz
Paul Giamatti
Amanda Bynes
Music by Christophe Beck
Cinematography Jonathan Brown
Edited by Stuart Pappé
Kimberly Ray
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release dates
  • February 8, 2002 (2002-02-08)
Running time
88 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $15 million
Box office $52,970,014

Big Fat Liar is a 2002 American teen comedy film directed by Shawn Levy, written and produced by Dan Schneider and Brian Robbins, and starring Frankie Muniz, Paul Giamatti, and Amanda Bynes. The film involves a 14-year-old pathological liar named Jason Shepherd (Muniz), whose creative writing assignment is stolen by an arrogant Hollywood producer named Marty Wolf (Giamatti), who plans to use it to make the fictional film of the same name.


Jason Shepherd (Frankie Muniz) is a pathological liar living on the fictional town of Greenbury, Michigan who is deceiving and misleading his way out of trouble. Jason tries to get out of writing his 1000 word essay by making up a lie, but he gets caught. He is given three hours to submit his paper, otherwise he will fail English and go to summer school. Jason accidentally forgets his report in a limousine of Marty Wolf (Paul Giamatti). Wolf initially attempts to give it back to Jason, but when he sees that it is excellent, he decides to keep it for himself.

Jason realizes his paper is missing, and neither his parents, Harry and Carol (Michael Bryan French and Christine Tucci), nor his English teacher, Ms. Caldwell (Sandra Oh) believe him. Later, Jason and his best friend, Kaylee (Amanda Bynes), find out that Wolf has plagiarized his paper, and turning it into a film. Jason and Kaylee fly to Los Angeles to confront Wolf. Upon their arrival, they trick limo driver Frank Jackson (Donald Faison) into giving them a ride to Wolf's studio, where Jason tricks its receptionist, Astrid Barker (Rebecca Corry), into letting him speak with Wolf. Jason sneak into Wolf's office to tells him to call his dad and tell him that he stole the story from Jason, but instead Wolf accidentally destroys one of Jason's paper and removed him from his office. Angered, Jason and Kaylee plan to inconvenience Wolf until he admits to having stolen Big Fat Liar. Jason and Kaylee are helped by Frank, who had a bad history with Marty. They sabotage Marty by going as far as dyeing his skin blue and his hair orange, sending him to a child's birthday party, where he is mistaken for a clown and beaten up by the party-goers, and modifying the controls to his car.

These pranks cause Wolf to miss his appointment with his boss and president of Universal Studios, Marcus Duncan (Russell Hornsby). After another fictional film, Whittaker and Fowl, proves to be a failure, Duncan loses confidence in Wolf, threatening to pull production for Big Fat Liar. Jason approaches Wolf and agrees to help in exchange for his confession to having stolen the story. Guided by Jason, Wolf makes a successful presentation which convinces Duncan's wife, Shandra (Chris Ott), to green-light Big Fat Liar, but warns that any mistakes will cause him to pull funding for it and end his career. However, Wolf betrays Jason again and kicks him out from his hiding place. Wolf's assistant, Monty Kirkham (Amanda Detmer), grows tired of his abuse and decide to help Jason and Kaylee to expose him. Jason and Kaylee rally all of Wolf's abused employees and devise a plan to stop him once and for all. As Wolf heads to the studio to begin shooting, many of his employees cause him to be late through multiple mishaps. As Wolf finally arrives to the studio, he witnesses Jason kidnaps his stuffed monkey, Mr. Funny-Bones. After a chase across the studio, Wolf is tricked into confessing that he stole Jason's story and Duncan fires him due to his actions. Jason thanks Wolf for teaching him the importance of telling the truth. After escaping from Wolf and revealing his truth, Jason finally re-establishes his trust with his parents.

In the epilogue, Big Fat Liar is later reproduced, utilizing the talents and skills of all those whom Wolf had abused, and released in theaters, with Jason being credited for writing his original story. Meanwhile, Wolf declares bankruptcy and begins his new job as a clown, where he is beaten up by the birthday boy, the son of the Masher whom he had earlier insulted.


  • Frankie Muniz as Jason Shepherd, a teenage pathological liar and slacker. Despite poor performance in school and having bad grades on his homework, he is very smart and good with technology.
  • Paul Giamatti as Marty Wolf, an arrogant Hollywood producer and a compulsive liar. Unlike Jason, he doesn't care how his lying affects others.
  • Amanda Bynes as Kaylee, Jason's best friend
  • Donald Faison as Frank Jackson, a limo driver and struggling actor
  • Russell Hornsby as Marcus "Marc" Duncan, Marty's boss and president of Universal Studios
  • Amanda Detmer as Monty Kirkham, Marty's assistant, who is often mistreated by him throughout most of the film. It is even shown that Marty takes all the credit for work she's done.
  • Michael Bryan French and Christine Tucci as Harry and Carol Shepherd, Jason's parents
  • Sandra Oh as Ms. Phyllis Caldwell, Jason's English teacher
  • Alex Breckenridge as Janie Shepherd, Jason's older sister
  • Rebecca Corry as Astrid Barker, the dog-loving receptionist at the Wolf Pictures office
  • Jaleel White as Himself - often called Urkel
  • Lee Majors as Vince, an aging but nevertheless qualified stunt director
  • Sean O'Bryan as Leo
  • Amy Hill as Jocelyn Davis
  • John Cho as Dusty Wong, the director
  • Taran Killam as Bret Callaway. He is a skateboard punk who consistently bullies Jason, and also has a crush on Kaylee.
  • Jake Minor as Aaron
  • Kyle Swann as Brett
  • Sparkle as Grandma Pearl, Kaylee's senile grandmother
  • Chris Ott as Shandra Duncan, Marc's wife
  • Kenan Thompson, Dustin Diamond, Shawn Levy, Corinne Reilly, and Bart Myer as Wolf party guests
  • Brian Turk as The Masher, a monster truck driver
  • John Gatins as George, a tow truck driver
  • Don Yesso as Rocko Malone


This movie was filmed at Universal Studios Hollywood, the Flash Flood set and Los Angeles International Airport, as well as in Glendale, Monrovia, Pasadena and Whittier, California.


No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Come on Come on"   Smash Mouth 2:33
2. "Conant Gardens"   Slum Village 3:03
3. "Me Myself and I"   Jive Jones  
4. "I Wish"   Hairbrain 3:11
5. "Eye of the Tiger"   Survivor 4:29
6. "Hungry Like the Wolf"   Duran Duran 3:41
7. "Blue (Da Ba Dee)"   Eiffel 65 4:40
8. "Diablo"   Triple Seven  
9. "Disco Inferno"   The Trammps 10:54
10. "Party Time"   The Grand Skeem 3:32
11. "Backlash"   The Grand Skeem  
12. "Where ya at"   The Grand Skeem  
13. "Mind Blow"   Zion-1  
14. "Right Here Right Now"   Fatboy Slim  
15. "Move It Like This"   Baha Men 3:51


Big Fat Liar received mixed reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rating of 43%, based on 92 reviews, with the site's consensus stating "Though there's nothing that offensive about Big Fat Liar, it is filled with Hollywood cliches and cartoonish slapstick, making it strictly for kids."[1] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 36 out of 100, based on 24 critics, indicating "generally negative reviews".[2]

On the positive side, Ebert and Roeper gave the film "Two Thumbs Up". Some critics praised the film as energetic and witty; others called it dull and formulaic. Critic David Palmer gave the film a 7/10, stating that it is a fun movie for people who love the behind the scenes of making movies, and "not awful considering it's a kids film".

Box office[edit]

Big Fat Liar grossed $11.6 million in its opening weekend, finishing in second behind Collateral Damage ($15.1 million). The movie would go on to gross $40.4 million domestically and $4.6 million in other countries for a total of $52.97 million,[citation needed] more than tripling the $15 million budget.


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