The Invention of Lying

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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Flicks Review

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


The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 3 ratings, 3 reviews
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As an avid Ricky fan I went to see this as soon as it came out...so disapointing I don't think there was one laugh in it, the funniest part I'd seen in the movie trailer. Waste of time.


Oh dear, what happened Ricky? Did you get offered a wad of bucks to write a movie script in half a day, while depressed and wondering how you'd managed to blag your way into Hollywood squillions?

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


Expected to laugh all the way through, was so bored I fell asleep. Disappointed as I like Ricky. Don't waste ya money.


The Press Reviews

57% of critics recommend.
Rotten Tomatoes Score. More reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

  • In its amiable, quiet, PG-13 way, The Invention of Lying is a remarkably radical comedy. Full Review

  • Proof that when you aim for the stars, sometimes you find a black hole. Hopefully just an anomaly for the usually wonderful Gervais. Full Review

  • Gervais and Robinson take what might have been a cute concept comedy and elevate it to delicious heights. Full Review

  • While the movie is a conceptual pip filled with quotable laughs and gentle pokes at religious faith at its most literal, it also looks so shoddy that you yearn for the camerawork, lighting and polish of his shows. Full Review

  • For its first stingingly funny half hour, The Invention of Lying had me thinking that Ricky Gervais had finally found a way to bring his indisputable brilliance at TV comedy (The Office, Extras) to the big screen. Then the air went out of the balloon. What a shame. Full Review

  • Wittier than your average romcom, with a conceit that’ll have you dreaming up your own comedic reality checks. A treat for fans – but torture for those who have tired of Gervais’ naked ambition. Full Review

  • While it never tops the explosive hilarity of its first 20 minutes, The Invention of Lying is a smartly written, nicely layered comedy that, like last year's underappreciated "Ghost Town," casts Ricky Gervais as a mild-mannered schlub who manages, in spite of himself, to make the world a better place. Full Review