Movie: "The Invention Of Lying"
Year: 2009
Rated: PG-13
Genre: Comedy
Directed by: Ricky Gervais, Matthew Robinson
Writing credits: Ricky Gervais, Matthew Robinson

Reviewer: -RoG-
Posted: 1/19/2010

Plot: A man, who lives in a fictional world where everybody must tell the truth, discovers the power of telling lies.

Review: Let me preface this review by saying I'm a big fan of Ricky Gervais. I think he's a fantastic comedian who's done some brilliant work over the years. That said, this movie just wasn't one of those works.

While I do love the idea of a man living in a world where everybody believes whatever lies he tells (insert politician joke here), I just don't feel this movie took the concept far enough. It starts out strongly enough, and seeing everybody be brutally honest with each other is pretty damned hilarious. Gervais has always been one for self-deprecating humor, and he certainly doesn't spare his character from personal attacks in the film.

His main love interest, played by Jennifer Garner, constantly reminds him that he has no chance with her and that she doesn't find him attractive in any way. Again, this isn't her being rude, it's simply how everybody on the planet acts - dead honest, regardless of anybody's feelings.

Gervais eventually discovers the power of lying and starts to use it to his advantage. At first, he tests it out by telling a woman that if she doesn't sleep with him, the world is going to end. Naturally, she believes him and they rush off to a hotel room, but he gets cold feet and tells her everything's going to be ok.

And that's where the problem with the movie comes in. It's too much of a comedy-drama rather than an all out comedy. All I wanted to see was Gervais come up with a variety of crazy lies which get him into more and more trouble as time goes by. But the reality is that once he achieves fame, everybody in the world looks to his character for guidance.

There's just too much sentiment in the film and not nearly enough laughs, so unless you're a die-hard Gervais fan, I'd recommend skipping out on The Invention Of Lying. Not even the appearances by talents such as Christopher Guest, Tina Fey, Louis C.K. and others save it from being anything more than a mediocre flick with too much focus on delivering a message rather than pure laughs. A great concept for a film, just poor execution. Better luck next time, Ricky.

Overall rating: WholeWhole
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)

Reader Comments

Jan 20th, 2010, 08:43 AM
That's too bad, I had hopes this would be a good flick since it was such a good concept.
Cranberry Everything
Jan 20th, 2010, 04:07 PM
This one reminded me a lot of the other one he did, "Ghost Town (2008)". I like them both, they just turn into dramas instead of sticking to comedy all the way through.
Jan 20th, 2010, 09:24 PM
Ghost Town was way better. Still waiting for Gervais to make the huge splash over here I know he can.
Forum Virgin
Jan 21st, 2010, 08:51 AM
I just watched this movie last night. The premise is more interesting than the execution.
Jan 21st, 2010, 02:04 PM

like a mile from my house
An Arizona Horror Company
Jan 21st, 2010, 06:16 PM
The execution was underwhelming, but Gervais is just one of those performers it's damn near impossible to dislike, even when he's shoulder-deep in a truly mediocre flick. And it was nice seeing Rob Lowe channel his "Wayne's World" bastard-in-a-nice-suit character.
Jan 22nd, 2010, 11:30 AM
Aw man, I thought this film was going to be great.