Considering that this film is thematically similar to a lot of others, I thought about Liar, Liar watching it and even Murphy's other movie in which he plays a spiritual guru taken on by a big studio to spin money, it was probably never going to stand out from the crowd. However, I did hope for a better feature than what this turned out to be.
It is funny, it is also heartfelt and moving but all in a sort of daytime TV or soap opera way, the characters are a little flat or one dimensional and it is all very, very predictable from beginning to end.
The story follows a wheeling and dealing charismatic business player who trades on his verbal skills and talents. Following an encounter with a guru who he signs up for a book deal, not caring about what sort of message the guru is purveying, only that it is sufficiently vague to sell to everyone, a tree springs up in our protagonists garden which sheds leaves as he speaks. Convinced that when the leaves all finally drop he will perish our hero has to rethink every time he speaks.
There follows a series of funny set pieces in which our heroes day to day activities are limited by his inability to speak, such as ordering coffee (que lots of product placement for Starbucks, another reason why I did not like this movie more). It takes on a more serious tone when he can not speak to his child during a fathers and sons day at the creche or to his wife when she seeks to spark up their marriage.
The story does branch out in a sort of road to perdition and redemptive way, however, rather than it being about a serious reflection upon thinking before you speak or considering importance of communication it chooses instead to focus upon dreams Murphy's character has about his own childhood and relationship to his father.
I was left thinking that perhaps the writers had come up with a plot in a stream of consciousness fashion or strung together a number of amusing set pieces. As a result it isnt that great, I do think movies like Liar, Liar compare favourably but its not an awful feature either.