Liar Liar (1997)

I agree – this all very much like psychology to me. But even if the only one who has problems with lying were Fletcher, his lying (and then telling the truth) is causing problems for everyone.

So… MC Progress (work your way up the ladder)? (Maybe that’s what you were going for?)


I agree with everything you said as well!

Interesting that you brought up Elf and Paddington 2 and I brought up that Nosedive episode of Black Mirror. They all share the same Domains and Concerns!

Like I said before, I think the goal is going to be a trouble spot because it’s hard to define a protagonist and antagonist, at least for me.

But playing around last night, there is something in the element level that settles the Outcome.

Are you comfortable with Being / Progress / Preconcious / Doing for concerns @jhay? Or did you have something stronger in mind?


Okay, so I think now is a good time to drop to the element level. I’ll try to lay out my argument.

I was already leaning toward the Non-Accurate / Accurate / Proven / Unproven quad for Fletcher. Specifically, Non-Accurate as his problem and Accurate as his solution. Which makes Proven his focus (trying to prove himself to the Partners.)

That puts Non-Accurate as the OS problem, which feels really strong.

  • all the lying, obviously
  • the Client who won’t settle
  • the receptionist and her whacky fashion
  • the overweight guy
  • the man overcharging at the impound lot
  • the judge not putting up with Fletcher’s shennanigans

Leaving Outcome open, you get two quads for the RS.

Option 1: Test / Trust / Cause / Effect
Option 2: Non-Accurate / Accurate / Expectation / Determination

My eye immediately went to the second. Lying and honesty are huge points of contention for the relationship. So are all the Expectations that aren’t being met. There’s also the Determination of “maybe he doesn’t care about me”.

If that sounds good. Then the OS is forced to Failure.

Which makes sense, because even though they win the case, the Client still refuses to settle. She still thinks she’s the victim and wants more. The intolerable divorce situation continues for everyone.

That puts the IC in an issue of Value (your values are completely out of whack), and a drive of Proven (you want to be a good father, prove it)

This also means Fletcher’s crucial element has him representing Accurate in the OS. A completely honest man in a liar’s world.

I need to look at the rest of the storyform to see how it looks, but I think that feels really strong. What are your thoughts? :slight_smile:

ETA: I just checked again and this set up actually puts the IC in Unproven, not Proven. That makes me second guess my Problem and Solution elements.

I’ll wait until I get feedback from you guys before reevaluating.

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@glennbecker I think that Element quad is strong but I’m not sure yet where to put it (I sill need to watch it again–my son is interested but the rest of the family is not :unamused:).

However, I was thinking about this:

And I was wondering: when the son wishes his dad won’t lie, isn’t he influencing Fletcher by making him impulsively tell the truth for a day? Just a thought.

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I think that’s a strong argument. I was thinking how his Ex-Wife and Secretary snap at him too.

I put my Faliure storyform into Subtext and got:

Peace of mind awaits those who engage in telling the truth, even if it means failing to live up to expectations

That felt okay, but not quite what I thought the story was saying. Then I remembered @jhull saying that Failure / Good premises were going to change to focus on the Consequence. So it would be something like

Peace of mind awaits those who engage in telling the truth, even if it means doing the right thing.

That feels a lot better. That could also be why the Goal seems hard to pin down. Maybe the Consequence is emphasized. I realize that’s jumping way ahead, so don’t take this as me saying I’m settled. I just thought it was interesting. :smile:

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This will probably help:

Walking the Path of Virtue

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Btw, going through all of the Failure/Good storyforms almost all of them were either in the upper right hand concern (Doing, Being, Preconscious) OR they had a “consequence” of Becoming—as in, the consequence of failing is becoming a nicer person.

Haven’t read the rest of this thread, but I assume that would play a part in it.

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Yes. That BlacKkKlansman premise felt really close to what I was thinking. I thought you wouldn’t be working on Subtext changes until after the Holidays, so thanks for the early present!

That’s definitely where we’re at, so that’s good to know as well!

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Speaking of which, if you click on Subtext in the upper right hand corner of Narrative First, you’ll find your real present :gift:

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Wow! I really dig it! Can’t wait until I can check it out on my computer instead of my phone.

That’s absolutely where I landed on it, too!

I’m gonna skip ahead a little bit to the Outcome discussion because this is where I’m really struggling.

My problem with this one is that I both agree with it and can’t see that second half. Obviously, he starts screaming and trying to undo the jury’s conclusion, but is that enough to say that he did the right thing?

I’m really torn on it because I can see that he did try, but he could easily have done more – he just abandoned it to chase his family. So, is the author’s intent that he did the right thing by trying to undo the judgement? Am I understanding that correctly?

Because it really seems to me like the final driver (the discovery of the birth certificate, I think?) leads to the case being won – which is a triumphant moment, that is THEN followed by the ‘oh I made a mistake’ moment. I’d have to rewatch to see how that works, though.


Well, he was arrested for contempt of court. I’m sure that put a damper on things. :smile:

I absolutely hear what you’re saying, and I’m totally happy to be wrong about the Outcome. I was jumping way ahead. I definitely want to watch it one more time. The thing about it is even though it initially feels like a Triumph, it goes sour so quickly I’m having trouble seeing it as the Author’s Intent that it was a Success.

Then dropping his client, quitting his job and arguing with the Judge all feel way more like Doing then Being. It feels like Being was the bad thing. Going along with the system. Lying to get ahead. Kissing everyone’s ass.

He also commits to starting his own practice and chases down the airplane, which also feel like Doing.

I expect tomorrow to be a slow day with the Holiday, so no rush. Rolling things back a bit, since we’re in agreement on Domains and Concerns, do you have a strong opinion for a problem Quad in any Domain? I know @Lakis and I jumped to the Accurate / Non-Accurate / Proven / Unproven for the MC and I don’t want to steam roll any discussion.

I’d like to try to get into agreement on the Element level before we re-watch. :slight_smile:

ETA: Another thing I want to watch for as far as the ending is concerned. Is Fletcher throwing it all away the last Driver? It seems to have good symmetry with him being chosen in the First Driver, and might explain where our confusion is. Something to think about, at least.

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Is it possible that the Goal is actually just something like Being the best lawyer (no matter what the cost)? This would be something that everyone in the film is Concerned with, one way or another. Then Fletcher is clearly Pursue and his son the Antagonist.

Maybe just that he loses/gives up on the Goal of Being an a$$*ole lawyer which triggers a bunch of Doing Consequences…but the point is really that giving up that Goal is a good thing (not so much that he should have Done more).

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Alright. I think we’re out of the holiday weeds now. :smile: Hope you had a great end of year @jhay and @lakis!

Wanted to check in and see where everyone is standing on this.

Sorry about the slow response! With the new year, work is quite hectic! Happy 2020!

Fair point. :joy:

But is that part of the OS, or is that more MC and RS area? Cause I agree that running after a plane to tell your kid you won’t be a bad parent anymore feels pretty Physics-oriented, but I’m not sure it would count as a consequence to losing a court case. And if his personal problem involves trying to get ahead, wouldn’t part of his change include the fact that he ultimately decides ‘it’s not worth it’?

As consequences, neither of them really relate to the court case - they seem much more personal.

This is my instinct, too. I can’t find another quad that feels right to me.

I’d have to think about this. I’m not confident enough to say either way. When we rewatch, I’ll keep this in mind and see what happens.

It could be this. I was trying to think of something along the lines of ‘being whatever you need to be to win’ (since you have all the lawyers, and Tilly’s character, and the boss, and the ex-wife’s new guy, all trying to fit into these roles that are just not working for any of them). But I think that’s more of a concern, yours may work better as a goal.


Not a problem! Happy New Year!

Glad we agree on the problem quad.

So, it looks like we’re only three choices from a storyform! I’m going to try to re-watch in the next couple of days and take notes this time on Driver, Outcome / Goal / Consequence, and Problem.

I’ll post all my thoughts as soon as I can. :thumbsup: