The Invention of Lying (2009)

The television spots for The Invention of Lying had me befuddled with a world that could only tell the truth. The spots let the main character knows how much the other characters hated him, which I thought was strange that they wouldn’t hold up. They would be lying by omission which goes against their code, sort to speak. The movie has a lukewarm reception last fall when it was released; I thought that this film was much more than brutal honesty.

In this alternate universe, the human race has evolved with only the ability to tell the truth. Anything that pops into their minds comes out of their mouths like oral diarrhea. Damn it, some of their bluntness has rubbed off me. Oh, well. The narrator of this story is an ordinary man named Mark Bellison (Ricky Gervais) that recounts the events of his before telling the first ever lie. He is afraid that he will be fired from his job as a screenwriter for Lecture Pictures. There is no fiction in this world so everything is researched from found documents are recited into the camera by an orator. Mark works with the 14th century, which is mostly about the Bubonic Plague.

His slacker friend, Greg (Louis CK) sets Mark up on a blind date with his longtime crush, Anna (Jennifer Garner), who is not terribly impressed by Mark when she opens the door. She doesn’t have high hopes for their date, because he is poor, fat with a smug nose. Anna is the complete opposite with discussing all the material things that she can get for work that she doesn’t want to do. Making her feelings known throughout the date takes Mark by surprise where Anna kisses him on the cheek. He thinks that he has a legitimate shot with her.

His worst fears are realized when the next day; he is canned by his boss, Anthony (Jeffery Tambor). Then, the landlord comes by for the rent. He has only three hundred left in his account. He has one day until he is out on the street. Going to the bank to withdraw the amount with the system down the teller asks Mark how much to withdraw, a switch is triggered in his mind to say eight hundred. The systems goes back online, the teller sees three hundred, but she trusts that Mark is telling her the truth and gives him the eight hundred.

Mark is giddy like a schoolgirl. He tests out his leap of the evolutionary ladder by telling Greg about this new idea he stumbled upon. He is drunk his new found power that he could do whatever he wants; cheating at a local casino, telling white lies to keep people from killing themselves like his neighbor, Frank (Jonah Hill), write a fictional screenplay that stick it to fellow screenwriter, Brad (Rob Lowe) and former assistant, Shelley (Tina Fey) and have the “stature” to have a second date with Anna. The more lies he tells, the greater the ramifications of those multiply.

I’m surprised that people aren’t depressed in this world. Some subjects should have been explored more with the damage done by hearing nothing but the truth all of your life. I thought some instances of this world rang false. There is supposed to be no doubt in this world, but at the end of the movie a character is having them. Wouldn’t that be a lie? There were some instances about genetic match ups that got on my nerves a little bit. The movie is not laugh out loud comedy. It’s actually sweet and touching.

Judgment: It makes you rethink about what is right instance of telling the truth and telling a white lie.

Rating: ****

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About Branden

Branden: I am just your average movie nut that reviews films. Gives his take on pop culture and Hollywood happenings. Dreams to have his own thriving website and make a living doing what he is passionate about.

Posted on February 22, 2010, in 2009, Comedy, Fantasy, Romantic and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. The initial premise left quite a lot to be examined, but it definitely was interesting. I just wish it hadn’t had been so much about Jennifer Garner towards the end.

    • That is true. I wish that the world should have been explored more. Making it romantic comedy at the end was fine. I didn’t need it.

  2. I agree about the finale, but I found overall it to be a very unique (how refreshing) and often hilarious movie. It had it’s fault, but I enjoyed it.

    • I was about to give away the second half of movie twist in my review. I decided to leave it out, because I wanted others to be surprised by it.

  1. Pingback: The Invention of Lying (2009) « Foolish Blatherings | Drakz Free Online Service

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