If I'm hatin', I'm lyin'...
Andrew Ellington | I'm kind of everywhere | 01/25/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As far as kids movies are concerned, there are few better than this one. I'm not usually one to gush over these kinds of movies, but this one keeps me entertained (sure, in a cheesy kind of way) each and every time I watch it. Each gag, each joke, each scene is just fun and exciting.
Yeah, I like this one; a lot.
The films premise is pretty cool too. Jason is a young kid of fourteen who has an issue with lying (what kid doesn't), and his bad behavior has landed him in some trouble. Jason is the definition of the `boy who cried wolf', and so when he actually tells the truth (that his essay was stolen by a movie mogul who is now plagiarizing by turning his story into a major motion picture) no one believes him; except his best friend Kaylee (but she may not even `really' believe him). When opportunity arises (as it often does in these films), Jason and Kaylee make their way to Hollywood in order to expose this creep and earn the trust of Jason's parents.
The whole idea of young kids using their imaginations to create something excites me, because I was once that kid, dreaming of writing something so amazing it became a movie!
The acting here is very good for a film in this genre, and character actor Paul Giamatti is at the top of the pack. I mean, when is he NOT good (don't answer that...I did see `Lady in the Water', but he was far from the worst part of that mess)? I admit to never having ever seen an episode of `Malcolm in the Middle', but I've seen a few of Frankie Muniz's movies and I really think that for a child actor he is quite good (can you believe he's not a child anymore?). Amanda Bynes is a gimmick, but she's so incredibly enjoyable (I've said this before) and I heart her so I have nothing but praise for her here as well.
What makes the film pop though is the smart writing. This has been done before (you know, smart kids + stupid adults = war) but this feels new and fresh to me. Each gag feels surprising and what is cool about this is that it manages to impress with each viewing. I've seen this a few times and every time I see it I laugh and enjoy myself. In fact, this was on cable last night, and I watched it from start to finish.
It's that much fun."