By George Rose
January 27, 2010
The Invention of Lying (2009)
And finally, a film that has nothing to do with a release from the last weekend or the next. No, instead I thought I'd share with you something I had the pleasure of watching in the last week, a surprise in every way. Based on commercials, I thought this would strictly be about a liar in an absolutely honest world. I thought it would be moderately entertaining, at best. And I sure as hell thought the concept was so unique and out of left field, that there wouldn't be time for a deep story to be told while explore the hilarity of this alt-universe. Wrong, wrong, and wrong. Never underestimate the quality of comedy that comes from the mind of Ricky Gervais.
The movie starts out with an entirely honest world, which alone offers plenty of opportunity for original jokes. Usually comedians talk trash about people behind their backs on stage; imagine a world where everyone said all their harsh honest beliefs without refrain or remorse. Basically, a world where Mel Gibson can get away with being Mel Gibson. All that matters is honesty and everything said to and heard by another is taken as truth. And just as Ricky is in the midst of dating Jennifer Garner and the audience loses interest in this new comedy novelty, he learns to lie. Another short while later, more laughter, and just at the next brink of lost interest, the film goes from comedy to a lesson of biblical proportions. Literally.
Apparently, there is no religion in the honest world, because religion is based on faith, not fact. Here, only facts are dealt with. True feelings and true information. What a world, huh? If only we didn't all currently live in the situation that is Earth 2010. In any case, as a way to help the dying, Ricky creates the ideas of heaven. I won't even try to tell you the rest, because already this isn't the movie you expected and I've given away too much. The Invention of Lying is a hilarious movie, whether you're religious or not, and will blow away your low expectations going into it. I didn't think it would be, but it's right on par with Gervais' Ghost Town. Hopefully his talent will catch fire soon and set this world aflame because he deserves far more support than his box office track record would suggest. And that's the truth.