Jason (Frankie Muniz) is an ordinary, Midwestern kid with an extraordinary talent for telling whopping lies. One of them gets him into deep trouble with his teacher, who says Jason cannot get a passing grade until he completes a writing assignment--in the next three hours! With only seconds to spare, Jason races on his bike to deliver the completed assignment--a story called 'Big Fat Liar'--and accidentally rams into a stretch limo belonging to Marty Wolf (Paul Giamatti), a visiting movie producer, who offers the kid a ride. When Jason bolts from the limo, he leaves behind his story--but try telling that to his teacher and parents!

A few months later, Jason sees a TV ad announcing Wolf's next blockbuster--a movie called Big Fat Liar. His title--his story! With gal-pal Kaylee (Amanda Bynes) in tow, Jason flies out to Hollywood to seek an admission from Wolf that he, Jason, had not lied about losing his writing assignment.

The rest of this charming and funny (but ultimately silly) movie becomes a slapstick battle of wits between the two kids and the flamboyantly awful, increasingly frustrated movie mogul. But plot is irrevelant here. Big Fat Liar was packaged solely to show off its talented teenage stars, Muniz and Bynes, who each have a hit TV show ('Malcolm In the Middle' and 'The Amanda Show') and legions of young fans who'll adore seeing them together like this. Amazingly, both are already masters of comic timing, and Bynes is especially good at impersonations. The adult Giamatti is no slouch either; his campy portrayal of the evil producer is just fab--but most of his in-jokes will fly right over the heads of the film's target audience.

Viewers who've taken the Universal City tour in Hollywood may agree that the cleverest thing about Big Fat Liar is the way it utilizes so many highlights of that tour. As one who, upon first setting foot on a studio backlot (the old 20th Century Fox), uttered the inanity, 'Gee, what a great place to make a movie!'-- I'm delighted to find that someone else knows exactly what I had in mind.

--Shirley Sealy