Liar Liar

My source is the film Liar Liar

Written by Paul Guay and Stephen Mazur

Released March 21, 1997

Summary: Liar Liar is about Fletcher Reede, a father and lawyer in LA. Despite having a son and having been divorced, he still prioritizes his career over them. Fletcher lies about the reasons for not being able to be with them in favor of rising in his career. Lying has made him a very successful defense lawyer at his firm. The pursuit of his career over family leads to him missing his sons birthday where his son, Max, wishes that his father would be unable to lie for a whole day which comes true. Fletcher discovers his inability to lie and it slowly but surely jeopardizes his career as he is unable to lie for his defendants in court. In the central case of the movie, his client ,Samantha Cole,  wants a divorce from her wealthy husband and take as much as she can from him. The issue being that Samantha has signed a prenuptial agreement which is what is being contested in court. Normally Fletcher would be able to lie his way around the case and make short work of it but he is unable due to maxes wish. He resorts to only using the truth and facts of the case which results in him finding her documents had been falsified. Fletcher found out Samantha changed documents about her age when signing the prenuptial agreement in order to get married, she had signed it when she was still a minor, which rendered it void and won fletcher the suit without lying. Samantha decides the money was not enough and wants custody of the children as well which the court allowed. Seeing Samantha’s greed made fletcher realize that, that is not who he wants to be in life and argued with the judge to reverse his decision which results in him being in contempt of court and put in jail. Fletcher is bailed out and chases after Max and his ex wife, promising to change. They decided to give him another chance.

How the story portrayed legal concepts

Although it is a comedy, it does portray legal concepts in an accurate way. The court seemingly followed the rules of a real court, all be it with some liberty for the sake of humor. While the over arching theme is toying with the stereotypical idea of a lying lawyer, it does raise the question of ethnicity in doing so. Fletcher was so good at lying, he rarely ever had to look for the truth. So when the time came where only the truth could be the answer, he struggled to find it. The movie also displayed concepts such as perjury which we have not studied at length in class but the movie does display instances of contempt in court, A way a contract can be come void due to age, custody of children and other instances. It also displays the lawyers role in acting in their clients best interest despite it not being what they want to do. Another thing that stands out is the judges authority in court. The lawyers recognize to listen when he commands it which seems very real.

My reaction to the cultural source.

I thought it was a hilarious and brilliant movie. I thought it portrayed the legal field in a hilarious yet accurate way. It was captivating watching what aspects of the law they humorized and how they managed to make it a workable story. I would definitely recommend this movie to others. I think if i was trying to get someone to take an interest in the legal field, this would be one of the movies i would show them because it uses humor to catch your attention while actually presenting law in a rather real way.

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