A Risky Story Decision Made Jim Carrey’s 1997 Comedy Classic Even Funnier
7 mins read

A Risky Story Decision Made Jim Carrey’s 1997 Comedy Classic Even Funnier


  • Jim Carrey’s ability to blend comedy and drama shines in
    Liar Liar
    , where magic plays a humorous but mysterious role.
  • The subtle worldbuilding in
    Liar Liar
    adds depth to the hilarious plot, showcasing Carrey’s comedic prowess and talent.
  • Despite its age,
    Liar Liar
    remains one of Carrey’s best movies, standing the test of time with its solid concept and entertaining performance.



Jim Carrey‘s storied career has resulted in some sidesplitting comedy movies being produced, but the vagueness surrounding one of the actor’s most successful projects actually makes the story even funnier. Carrey’s enthusiasm for comedic acting is evident in his movies within the genre. However, many of Jim Carrey’s best movies are also wrapped up in a deceptive amount of lore. As such, it’s easy to be distracted by the laughs and ignore the subtle but significant worldbuilding that’s going on in the background.

Although Carrey is primarily known for his comedy movies, he’s also an incredibly talented dramatic actor. In fact, some of the best Jim Carrey characters require the actor to call upon both skill sets at once or even focus on a more serious tone. One Jim Carrey movie from 1997 has the actor at his best, but he wouldn’t have been able to deliver during the funnier scenes quite as well as he did if it weren’t for a key part of the plot being so mysterious.


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The Magic In Jim Carrey’s Liar Liar Is Never Openly Addressed In Detail

The rules of the magic in this Jim Carrey classic need to be picked out by the audience

Jim Carrey’s Fletcher Reede in 1997’s Liar Liar had an unusual obstacle to deal with throughout most of the movie. Due to a birthday wish made by Max, Fletcher’s disillusioned son, Carrey’s character is rendered completely incapable of telling a lie for 24 hours. While this leads to an array of hilarious japes and some of the funniest movie scenes of all time, it quietly confirms that magic exists within the world of Liar Liar. However, very little explanation is provided regarding how the magic in the movie actually works.

Instead of addressing the subject of Liar Liar‘s magic too heavily, the movie subtlety provides just enough context for the plot to make sense. While a little more information would arguably have made the world even more compelling, the unanswered questions don’t particularly need an answer. What’s more important in a movie like Liar Liar is that the jokes that stem from the magic land well, which they most certainly do thanks to Carrey’s committed performance.

How Did The Magic Work In Jim Carrey’s Liar Liar?

Fletcher’s compulsion to tell the truth in Liar Liar isn’t the same as the character being correct

Jim Carrey as Fletcher Reede in Liar Liar smiling by Max's birthday cake

What’s evident in Liar Liar is that it’s Justin Cooper’s Max Reede who sets events in motion when he makes a wish before blowing out the candles on his birthday cake. So, birthday wishes would seem to be a real thing in Liar Liar, at least for Max. However, when Fletcher tries to get Max to make an “Unwish” in a similar environment, the plan fails. The fact it didn’t work could be down to the fact that it’s the day after Max’s birthday, but also because he “Didn’t mean it.” It could also be that it was a combination of these two factors.

The 24-hour impact that Max’s original wish has on Fletcher means he’s only able to tell the truth. However, this is limited to Fletcher’s subjective point of view. In other words, he doesn’t become all-knowing for a day. He is able to say something that is objectively false as long as it’s what he believes to be true. Telling the truth isn’t the same as being right, so not everything Fletcher says during this period is necessarily correct. However, saying even the smallest statement that he either knows or believes to be false is largely impossible.

Telling the truth isn’t the same as being right, so not everything Fletcher says during this period is necessarily correct.

Objective truth aside, Fletcher maintains his ability to make sarcastic remarks while under the influence of Max’s wish. When challenging Jennifer Tilly’s Samantha Cole about her weight being listed as 105lbs, Fletcher retorts with, “Yeah, in your bra!” This is clearly incorrect, but Carrey’s character is making it clear he doesn’t believe what he’s saying, which is an interesting loophole. However, Fletcher shows no sign of realizing he’s stumbled across this gap in the rules.

Max’s birthday wish is, ”
I wish that for only one day, Dad couldn’t tell a lie

Liar Liar Is Still One Of Jim Carrey’s Best Movies 27 Years Later

Jim Carrey’s Liar Liar is still very funny regardless of its age

Movies aging out of their quality is a common phenomenon in cinema, but Liar Liar is one of the fortunate films that has stood the test of time. The solid concept and Jim Carrey’s terrific performance have allowed Liar Liar to remain a thoroughly entertaining comedy movie. Jim Carrey has made over 50 movies over the course of his career, and Liar Liar still stands out as one of his best even after all this time.


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Carrey’s movies can be roughly split into two categories: comedy and drama. While some of Carrey’s dramatic roles in movies such as The Truman Show and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind are some of his most impressive performances, Liar Liar definitely deserves to be up near the top of the list too. The story of Liar Liar may not be as hard-hitting as some of Jim Carrey‘s more serious projects, but its strong message and laugh-a-minute mayhem combine to make a great movie.

Liar Liar
is available to stream on Starz.

Liar Liar

Jim Carrey stars in the 1997 comedy Liar Liar as Fletcher Reede, a lawyer who has a habit of lying to everyone around him. One day, his son Max (Justin Cooper) wishes that his father would be unable to lie for a day, and to Fletcher’s surprise, he suddenly can only say the truth.

Tom Shadyac

Release Date
March 21, 1997

Jim Carrey , Maura Tierney , Jennifer Tilly , Swoosie Kurtz , Amanda Donohoe , Cary Elwes

86 Minutes

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