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‘Lie Hard’ (review)

Lie Hard is an American comedy written, directed, and starring Ian Miles. Noxious, unfunny, and amateurish in its production, this film has almost nothing with which to recommend it to any audience. The jokes do not land, the characters are flat and unsympathetic, and the performances feel like community theater.

Miles plays a compulsive liar in a long term relationship with a beautiful woman (played by Melanie Chandra), whose rich father wants him out of his daughter’s life because he cannot provide the finer things in life. He concocts a fish story to local gangsters and borrows four million dollars in order to buy a mansion and then his life falls apart when they expect him to pay the money back and the various lies he’s told compound and make his life unmanageable.

You would be forgiven for thinking the preceding paragraph could be the set up for a very funny movie that spoofs both American obsession with home ownership beyond its means, the generation gap, and the drop in standard of living between baby boomers and millennials.

In fact, I’m very confident that almost any reader could envision a better film with the premise we’re given than this one. None of the characters are likable, even by the standards of a screwball comedy and the basic professionalism of the production isn’t up to par.

In a comedy, we can forgive a director for flat filmmaking, for scattered characterizations, for a certain looseness in the story, for any number of cinematic sins because the goal is to make the audience laugh and the story and techniques used are in the service of that, not necessarily making cinematic art.

That’s not the case here– there’s no improv or spontaneity to these characters who feel as rote and one dimensional as in a student film. In conception the film was going for a comedy akin to the Coen Brothers where it’s still shot and produced like a movie, but after every dramatic scene I was shocked that the take I was seeing was the take they went with.

Miles has a premise that’s unbelievable, characters who are unrelatable, a movie that was filmed with the same level of artistry as a Korean soap opera, and a script that doesn’t have a single genuine belly laugh in it. If your main character is a compulsive liar, that could be the set up to a number of really funny and outrageous escalating bits where he’s slipping in and out of trouble and trying to keep the various threads of his own web of lies straight.

Instead, this character literally just comes off like a sociopath who gets continually bailed out.

Deeply Frustrating.

1 out of 5 stars

*  *  *  *  *
Produced and Written by Ian Niles, Harrison Feuer
Directed by Ian Niles  
Starring Ian Niles, Melanie Chandra, Cathwerine Curtin, Joel Marsh Garland, Alysia Reiner,
Claire Coffee, Patrick Kilpatrick, Jordan Lane Price, Karalynn Dunton, Ari Barkan, Adam Lindo,
Sean Patrick Folster, Sid O’Connell, Mellini Kantayya, Chris Jarell, Peter Reznikoff

Lie Hard is now available on VOD and via Digital HD

 

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