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, deceiving and misleading his way out of trouble.

Jason accidentally forgets his report in Marty (Paul Giamatti)'s limousine. Marty 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 nor Ms. Caldwell believe him. Later, he and his best friend Kaylee (Amanda Bynes) find out that Marty has plagiarized his paper, turning it into a film. Jason and Kaylee fly to Los Angeles to confront him. Upon their arrival, they trick limo driver Frank Jackson (Donald Faison) into giving them a ride to Marty's studio, where Jason tricks receptionist Astrid Barker (Rebecca Corry) into letting him speak with Marty. Jason goes to Marty's office to tell Marty to call his dad and tell him that he stole the story from Jason, but instead Marty destroys Jason's paper and has him and Kaylee removed from his office. Angered, they plan to inconvenience him until he admits to having stolen Big Fat Liar. They are helped by Frank who becomes sympathetic toward them after learning their goals. They sabotage Marty by dyeing his skin blue and 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 Marty to miss his appointment with his boss and president of Universal Studios, Marc Duncan (Russell Hornsby). After another movie, Whittaker and Fowl, proves to be a failure, Marc loses confidence in Marty, threatening to pull production for Big Fat Liar. Jason approaches Marty and agrees to help in exchange for his confession to having stolen the story. Guided by Jason, Marty makes a successful presentation which convinces Marc's wife, Shandra Duncan (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, Marty betrays Jason again and has him and Kaylee kicked out and ousted from their hiding place. Marty's assistant grows tired of his abuse deciding to help them expose him. They rally all of his abused employees and devise a plan to stop him.

As Marty heads to the studio to begin shooting, his employees cause him to be late through multiple mishaps. As he finally arrives, he witnesses Jason kidnap his stuffed monkey. After a chase across the studio, Marty is tricked into confessing that he stole Jason's story and Marc fires him. Jason thanks him for teaching him the importance of telling the truth, narrowly escaping an enraged Marty. With the truth revealed 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 Marty had abused, and released in theaters, with Jason credited as the writer. Meanwhile, Marty declares bankruptcy and begins his new job as a clown, where he is beaten up by the birthday boy, the son of a man 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.
  • 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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