The Invention of Lying
Starring Ricky Gervais, Jennifer Garner, Rob Lowe, Tina Fey, Jonah Hill and Louis C.K.
Directed by Ricky Gervais and Matthew Robinson
Run Time 100 mins
5 frames out of 5
Here’s a what if… If you lived in a world that telling the truth was the only thing that was known? No matter how outrageous, sad, zany, angry or funny it was, that the filter that keeps (some of) us socially acceptable, was non existent?
Meet Mark Bellison, played by Rick Gervais. He’s a mediocre screenwriter at Legacy Films whose life really sucks. He’s overweight, women don’t really find him genetically attractive and his career is stuck in the dark ages, literally. He works in the ever-so-popular 13th Century division for films. Mark needs a change in his fortune, so he finally gets the nerve up to ask out a women he’s had a crush on for ages, Anna McDoogles, played by Jennifer Garner. Anna is successful, gorgeous and looking to settle down with a husband and start a family. Mark is more than willing, but Anna can’t seem to get past the outward appearance. Needless to say the date bombed and Mark went home defeated.
The next day at work, things go from bad to worse. Mark’s receptionist Shelley, played by Tina Fey, taunts him about the current state of his job security. He’s constantly reminded that he’s pathetic and has not right to be at Legacy by his fellow screenwriter, Brad Kessler, played by Rob Lowe. On this particular day, Mark’s boss finally gets the cajones to fire Mark and send him on his way. Feeling depressed, Mark gets home and his landlord is there waiting for the rent. He has 24 hours to get his money and affairs in order or he’s evicted. He goes to the bank to get the last of his money to get a moving truck and the fates start to smile on Mark. The computer system is down and while standing there in desperation, the teller asks how much he needs. The amount of his rent echoes in his subconscious, which rumbles through his cortex, down into his voice box and gives birth to the world’s first untruth.
Mark is flabbergasted at his new-found discovery. Being the storyteller he is, he tests his luck with the various people that he meets. Everyone knows that once you tell a little white lie, even with the best intentions, that it snowballs out of control. Mark handles it like a champ and suddenly life doesn’t seem so bleak. Or so he thinks.
The Invention of Lying is an original twist on the way man sees his origins and his world. This movie has many layers and messages essential to the heart of the film, but as a viewer, do you see them? Look beneath the surface and you may be surprised at what you find. Heads up though, some of the material is not appropriate for kids under 13. It’s a quirky comedy that is refreshing to hear the truth, but sometimes the truth hurts to hear, doesn’t it?
Things to watch for: Great opening scene for Jennifer Garner. The number of stars that make cameos and trying to decide which one was better. The message of essential human nature.
Who should see this movie: Anyone that lies or likes to stretch the truth.