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  • Stefan Riedlinger

Liar, Liar - John Debney - Soundtrack Review

Let's do some comedy this week. "Liar, Liar" was the first Jim Carrey movie I ever saw, and at that evening, I was really not in the mood for it, but my friends asked me to join them when it was showing 1997, and so I decided to go with them. And I had great fun! I loved the main theme and the music, so let's talk about "Liar, Liar" this week.

The movie

"Liar Liar" is a 1997 American fantasy comedy film directed by Tom Shadyac, written by Paul Guay and Stephen Mazur and starring Jim Carrey, who was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Comedy. The film is the second of three collaborations between Carrey and Shadyac, the first being Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and the third being Bruce Almighty. It is also the second of three collaborations between Guay and Mazur, the others being The Little Rascals and Heartbreakers.

This movie is the second collaboration between Carrey and Tom Shadyac, the first one was “Ace Venture: Pet Detective” and the third one was without any doubt Carrey’s best comedy “Bruce Almighty”. Carrey was nominated for a Golden Globe for this role. Here is the trailer:

Jim Carrey plays a career-focused lawyer named Fletcher Reede who loves his son, but because of his career, he cannot keep promises he gave his son and lies to him. Max made the at his birthday at wish that his father is unable to lie for one day. Fletcher slowly realizes this and is focusing big trouble because he accepted to defense the self-centered and money-grabbing Samantha (played by Jennifer Tilly). If Fletcher wins this case, he would make an enormous step in his career. In the following scenes, Fletcher has to deal with this inability to lie and still tries to win this case, but he also wants to gain back the love of his son and his ex-wife.

The movie is great because it gives Carrey a lot of chances to play his famous Ace Ventura overacting style, but also shows that he is able to perform dramatic scenes. There are great comedy scenes in this movie, especially when Carrey is telling the truth about his boss, and he thinks this is all a joke, and, of course, how Fletcher solves the case in the end.

The music

John Debney composed this score, but the themes were produced by James Newton Howard. That is an interesting approach. Was Debney not allowed to compose his own scenes for this movie? John C. Debney, born 1956, is an American film composer and conductor. He received an Academy Award nomination for his score for Mel Gibson's ultra-violent “The Passion of the Christ” (2004) and also composed the score for “Cutthroat Island”, the swashbuckler movie that sank Carolco, and was nearing the end of the career of director Renny Harlin and Geena Davis.

For “Liar, Liar”, Debney composed a perfect comedy score. The album has 14 tracks and just the last one, the music for the “Outtakes” is worth buying the album. That is great comedy music, fast and energetic! As the movie starts slow, the music starts slow and presents in the first track “My Dad's a Liar” the wonderful theme of the movie. The next one “To Court” is a very enjoyable one, and Fletcher has discovered already that he has trouble on his way to work. “The Pen Is Blue” shows us Fletcher fighting with his ability to lie, a real over the top acting scene of Jim Carrey.

Track 4 “I’ am A Bad Father” is one of the lyrical moments of the score, and you can imagine what is happening in this scene. A wonderful love theme! Track 5 “Pulloved Over” is one of the most dynamic tracks of this score, really great music and highly energetic even it is a short track.

I skip the next one, and with “I Love My Son” we are back in the lyrical tones again, a very nice orchestration with strings, flutes and a piano. Lovely music, and you can see the similarity to James Newton Howard scores, so who composed this track mostly? Track 9 “Airport Chase” is the music to the big action scene in the movie. Fletcher starts to rescue his son! A great action piece, highly enjoyable, wonderfully orchestrated, and I like especially the dynamic brass section in this piece. Track 10 “It’s Fletcher” belongs to the same scene.

The next three tracks show us the reunion of family, we are not surprised to see this. Then, we come to my favorite track of this score. It shows us in which way Carrey makes fun of the other actors and the crew, but there is also a great scene when he gets fooled, by the female attorney and she says “Overactor” to Carrey. This is so funny to see!

Debney proved with this score that he is a great writer for comedy music, but it is sad that son of Disney Studios producer Louis Debney (“Zorro”, “The Mickey Mouse Club”) is not so recognized by film music fans even though he composed a bunch of good scores such as for Arnie’s “End Of Days”, the animation movie “Chicken Run” or “The Scorpion King”. It seems that Debney is one of these composers who wrote a lot of good music, but did not get recognized for one special score like Jerry Goldsmith, John Williams or Hans Zimmer.

His scores are worth to discover if you want to hear some fresh music. Start, in my opinion with “Liar, Liar” and watch the movie, for me it is one of Carrey’s best ones.

Find here a clip with some great moments of the movie, so you can enjoy Debney’s music in the scenes

and find here the best scene of the movie, Carrey is a great comedian!

And hear the music and the outtakes, the music is so great!

Copyright © Stefan Riedlinger, 2015, all rights reserved. The reviews and other textual content contained on the site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of Stefan Riedlinger.

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