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A service to our youth through you,
their parents and grandparents, in His name by His Word
Big Fat Liar (2002), PG
Analysis Date: Febraury 9, 2002
CAP Score: 68
CAP Influence Density: 0.68
BIG FAT LIAR (PG) -- ...the boy who cried wolf once too often was not eaten...
Distributed by: Universal Pictures
Director(s): Shawn Levy
Producer(s): Brian Robbins, Michael Tollin
Written by/Screenplay: Dan Schneider & Brian Robbins (story), Dan Schneider (screenplay)
Cinematography/Camera: Jonathan Brown
Music: Christophe Beck
Editing: Stuart H. Pappé, Kimberly Ray
Frankie Muniz (Jason Shepherd)
Paul Giamatti (Marty Wolf)
Amanda Bynes (Kaylee)
Amanda Detmer (Monty)
Limo Driver (Donald Adeosun Faison)
Stunt master (Lee Majors)
Jason Shepherd (Frankie Muniz) is a smart alec liar. Everyone knows it. He lies about everything for laughs. And sometimes not for laughs. One time he got caught and was made to pay the price. He failed to do his homework which was one third of the semester grade. So, Jason enlisted the aid of his girlfriend Kaylee (Amanda Bynes) to act as his father's secretary and answer a call from Jason's teacher to his father so Jason could mimic his father and tell the teacher how he could not do his homework because he spent the evening at his father's side as his father was treated in the emergency department for choking.
Succeeding once more with his lies, Jason did not expect what would happen next. Jason's teacher called him into her classroom feigning appreciation for his unselfishness to be at his father's side when what to his wondering eyes did appear but his father and mother in the classroom. BOOM! If he did not do the 1000 word essay in the next four hours, he would fail the class and attend summer school.
So, fretting and sweating over what to write about a thought came to him. Write about lying! And that he did. He gave it the title of "Big Fat Liar." On his way to deliver the essay to his oriental teacher teaching English as a second language at a nearby community college, Jason runs into a limo occupied by Hollywood producer, Marty Wolfe (Paul Giamatti). Feigning neck injury and threatening lawsuit Jason manipulated Wolfe into giving him a ride to the community college to deliver his essay. As many 14 year old kids do, Jason klutzes his way over Wolfe's legs getting into the back seat, not the middle seat or the middle middle seat or the other middle seat, but the back seat -- the only one (of course) that was occupied. During Jason's klutzing he spilled his back pack all over the floorboard. This might seem typical and innocuous, but it is important to the plot, important because Jason fails to retrieve his homework assignment, "Big Fat Liar."
Next we see Jason attending summer school. After time-filler doldrum progresses for a few minutes we see (on TV) an announcement of a new and upcoming blockbuster movie ... *Big Fat Liar*, by Marty Wolfe no less. Unable to convince his father that "Big Fat Liar" is Jason's essay stolen by Wolfe, Jason launches a campaign to force Wolfe into fessing up to his dastardly deed. Jason and Kaylee set off for California -- together and without adult supervision. Conveniently, the parents of all adolescent characters involved are off somewhere for some really important something -- for the weekend. Even the adolescent left in charge of the adolescents is off somewhere -- for the weekend, with her boyfriend -- after a nice humble and compliant smile and promissory speech to her parents as they leave, of course.
Now, Jason and Kaylee are off to California ... by themselves ... to prove Jason is telling the truth, at least this time. The "justification" for this escapade into too much autonomy and independence too soon is Jason's attempts to capture his father's belief in him. Without revealing the rest of the story, suffice it to say Jason and Kaylee are collected safe and all is well. But were there any consequences for the potentially fatal defiance of the youths? N-o-o-o! Indeed, Jason's father was misty-eyed that his son would take such risks to prove his integrity. Granted, this is a probable and indeed positive reaction of a father, but ...
This time the boy who cried wolf once too often was not eaten by [the] Wolfe. Let us hope there is no "next time." The woodsman may not come to the rescue next time.
Programming in *Big Fat Liar* which may be of concern to parents and grandparents includes, of course, a ton of lies. There are also a few instances of foul language [Titus 2:6-8] and the use of God's name in vain but without the four letter expletive [Deut. 5:11]. Of likely major concern is the portrayal of adolescents in complete control and of portrayal of complete disregard for rules, especially of those which, when broken, can lead to nine months plus 18 years of commitment [Is. 30:1, Prov. 29:15]. *Big Fat Liar* was indeed glorification of freedom from accountability, freedom from authority and freedom from consequences [Prov. 22:15]. The prime desires of the target audience and the prime culprits of theft of childhood from children.
The thrust of this "entertainment" is to make comedy of lying with a mask of atonement to excuse the lying. As if to say "Go ahead and do the wrong as long as you are sorry for it afterwards." I will share with you how God feels about lying. Rev. 21:8 But the [unforgiven] fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death [Hell]. Rev. 22:14-15 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city [Heaven]. For without [outside] are dogs, and [the unforgiven] sorcerers [those who practice magic arts], and whoremongers [the sexually immoral], and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie [all liars - see Rev. 21:8]. These are indeed harsh Truths, but when is a lie not a lie? God is stern about many things but few as stern as He is about liars. He gives no condition or situation, even comedy or entertainment, where lying is acceptable. None.
Verification and validation of the CAP analysis model comparative baseline database revealed that G-rated movies earned from 100 to 87 out of 100, PG movies earned from 86 to 68, PG-13 movies earned from 67 to 55. R-rated movies earned from 54 and below. Consistently. Reliably. *Big Fat Liar* earned 68 placing it at the very bottom of the scoring range for PG movies, one point above PG-13. After analyses of more than 500 movies, the consistency and reliability of the CAP analysis model is proven. This movie may better have been a given a PG-13 rating.
The Findings/Scoring section provides the itemized list of findings.
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*******Food for Thought*******
As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.
Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
Offense to God (O)(2):
Christian Media News
Biblical based Management Consulting
|NOTE: The CAP Analysis Model makes no scoring allowances for trumped-up "messages" to excuse or for manufacturing of justification for aberrant behavior or imagery, or for camouflaging such ignominy with "redeeming" programming. Disguising sinful behavior in a theme plot does not excuse the sinful behavior of either the one who is drawing pleasure or example from the sinful display or the practitioners demonstrating the sinful behavior. This is NOT a movie review service. It is a movie analysis service to parents and grandparents to tell them the truth about movies using the Truth.|
|"There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our nearly seven years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.|