I’ve been a huge fan of Ricky Gervais since I first saw The Office when my mum brought back a DVD of the first series of the show from England. This was before it had ever been on TV in New Zealand, so when it finally did hit our shores I was over the moon as I knew that meant we would eventually get the rest of the series.
Ricky, of course, has gone on from strength to strength and is now today pretty much a household name. So when his latest offering came out, The Invention of Lying, which he also co-wrote and co-directed, I was quick to get along to see it as having read the idea behind the film I figured it was going to be good.
“Mark Bellison (Ricky Gervais) lives in a world just like our own, but no one lies there. Everyone is completely honest all the time. The first half of the movie shows Mark’s sad life a struggling loser, and how he is insulted by his completely honest co-workers, his Mom, and Anna (Jennifer Garner), his date. His Mom gets sick, and he makes up a story about an afterlife to help comfort his Mom on her deathbed.
Doctors and nurses overhear him, and soon Mark becomes an international authority on the afterlife. People camp on his lawn to learn more. Mark develops a story about the “Man in the Sky,” who functions like God, and he pastes his theology on two pizza boxes like Moses and the ten commandments. Mark learns to lie to help his friends, get money at the bank, cheat at the casino, and eventually to win the affection of Anna.”
Although the idea behind the film itself was really interesting, it never really seemed to work for me as it was a bit too literal. Not only could people not lie but they would say whatever was on their mind at any given moment. Initially this felt a bit over the top for me but it did settle down over the course of the movie.
The film also had an overall message, which was pretty obvious, but it almost made the audience feel dumb by having to spell out for us what was actually happening. However, despite these ‘almost’ major flaws, it was still a fairly good movie, and Gervais was by far the best thing about it as he has such a great quality in his acting.
7.5 out of 10 from me!!!