9-year-old Eve is unhappy with the life she has with her foster parents, and after a chance encounter with Dave, a thirty-something man-child who’s refused to grow up, Eve sees an opportunity to be reunited with her absent brother. When an incident causes Dave to go on the run from the law, Eve uses Dave’s misfortune as an excuse to be taken on a cross-country road-trip.
Even though Film Bizarro isn’t a genre specific website we tend to lean towards the horror side since we’re horror fans here. And as such, you’ll frequently read comments from us about the tedious and repetitive nature of horror films because, well, that's the way most tend to be. To be fair though, all genres feel repetitive anymore because the cinema market is flooded. “Liars, Fires and Bears” is a movie that sounds like a mix of two typical sub-genres of drama: the coming-of-age movie and the road-trip movie. However, Jeremy Cloe and Lundon Boyd do what any good storytellers should do and find ways to make their movie shine through different means.
Eve is a 9-year-old girl who continuously runs away from her foster parents due to her wanting to live with her distant and absent brother. Dave is a thirty-something man who refuses to grow up and take responsibility for things in life. After being robbed, Dave comes up with a half-cocked plan to catch the man who robbed him, Ricky, red-handed. A plan that blows up in Dave’s face and soon causes him to go on the run from the cops. After accidentally finding her way into Dave’s car, Eve decides to use Dave’s misfortunate as an opportunity to be taken on a cross-country trip to be reunited with her brother.
So, yes, while I think we’ve all seen our fair share of coming-of-age and road-trip movies, “Liars, Fires and Bears” makes itself compelling by bringing together an odd pairing of characters. The idea of a movie about a thirty-something male character being stuck in a car with a 9-year-old girl, sounds like it’s a hair away from being a felony. But there was something about that combination that made the movie rather endearing to watch.
It does feel like odd thing to say, but there was a great chemistry between Lundon Boyd (Dave) and Megli Micek (Eve). So much in fact that it becomes the driving force behind the movie. "Liars, Fires and Bears" manages to tell a coming-of-age story that’s not about the young child, like you’d assume, but for both characters. Eve is a young girl who acts older and more jaded than she should for her age, but she still maintains that naivety from innocence that children do have. While Dave is essentially a man-child; a guy who refuses to grow up and his inability to take responsibility lands him in a position where he’s have to drive Eve to find her brother. Because the movie is about the personal journey of these two characters, it makes the story much more engaging and entertaining. Especially as you watch the two actors successfully play off one another and bring the emotion out of the movie's story and themes.
“Liars, Fires and Bears” actually strikes that perfect balance between comedy and drama through performances and writing. It's so effective to a point that, while I didn’t care much for the subplot involving Dave being dragged into an attempted robbery by a shady pawn clerk named Ricky (played by Luke Jones), I still appreciated what the storyline had to offer. Initially I didn’t care for this part of the movie since it almost felt a bit too silly at times but it’s an important part of story since it is the catalyst that forces Dave to, reluctantly, help Eve. Because the subplot not only makes sense, but serves a purpose as well, it’s impossible to view it as a negative aspect. And the comedic moments between Luke Jones and Lundon Boyd is still funny, regardless, even if it is a bit sillier in comparison to the rest of the movie. Then again, it also works because it being sillier is balanced out by the emotional and dramatic aspect of Dave and Eve's relationship and storyline.
I feel as though I should and actually want to say more about the movie but overall it is a relatively simple and straight-forward movie because the framework for the film is something we are familiar with. But it’s what hung on that framework that makes the film, and in the case of “Liars, Fires and Bears”, it was the writing and performances. The directing was there too, of course, but the writing and the performances are so well done it makes “Liars, Fires and Bears” standout and shine. It’s an endearing and ultimately sweet little movie about the bond between two unlikely characters that's emotionally engaging and entertaining. And while sweet might not be the go-to adjective for a movie that I think would make it appeal to Film Bizarro’s audience, I can’t think of a better way to describe “Liars, Fires and Bears”.