The Invention of Lying(2009)
This romantic comedy takes place in an alternate reality in which the concept of lying does not even exist. Everyone speaks the truth and nothing but the truth with no thought of the consequences. ... More
But when a down-on-his-luck schmuck named Mark (The Office's Ricky Gervais, also co-director) suddenly develops the ability to lie, he finds that dishonesty has its rewards and he easily lies his way to fame and fortune. But lies have a way of spreading, and Mark begins to realize that things are getting a little out of control when some of his tallest tales are being taken as gospel. With the entire world now hanging on his every word, there is only one thing Mark has not been able to lie his way into: the heart of the woman he loves (Jennifer Garner).Hide
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BY Andrew Hedley Flicks Writer
If you think that a world without lying wouldn’t be much fun, Ricky Gervais proves you right with his disappointing directorial debut.... More
As a massive fan of The Office and Extras (I re-watched Season 2 all in one sitting a few weeks back), plus Gervais’ stand-up material, it’s quite amazing to think that such a mediocre film could come from a man of such a quality track record.
The conceit about a world that has never lied wears thin and pushes the bounds of believability too far. On top of that, uninspired camerawork and flat lighting combines with intentionally plain art direction to give this a made-for-TV look.
Recycling his usual shtick about fat men with snub noses (again, see the Bowie episode of Extras), Gervais pairs his own aesthetically challenged character against Jennifer Garner’s Anna. He truthfully calls her the sweetest person he knows, yet the audience will see her as shallow and dim-witted. Seems her only attribute is her looks, something that goes against the intended message of beauty being on the inside. The rest of the movie plays out like those phony moralistic endings on South Park, except in this case the earnestness is groan inducing. I was bored stiff.Hide
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The Invention of Lying
This movie is surely the end of his chances in Hollywood before they'd taken off. It's stomach-turningly, shoe-shufflingly bad. In the first five minutes I laughed once, when a waiter mentions he had a sip of Jennifer Garner's cocktail before serving it to her, and that was it for this grind of a... More film.
Why was I not warned? I foolishly took the movie clerk's recommendation when walking randomly into a Cairns cinema complex with the wife, and should have had the wisdom to double-guess her when she couldn't add the A$15.50 of our two tickets together.
Gervais seems to have got his gander up about not being able to score hot women due to his weight, and then took all the worst parts of Monty Python before rearranging it into this amateur debacle. Edward Norton's once fine career hits new lows with an incredibly bad short cameo turn as a masochistic cop, and it seems that his and other notable cameos are where the budget went as the cinematography was better in The Office.
First time I've given a one-star. Consider yourselves warned.Hide