Thursday, 3 December 2009

The Invention of Lying: Movie Review

The Invention of Lying: Movie Review

Rating: 5/10
Cast: Ricky Gervais, Jennifer Garner, Rob Lowe, Jonah Hill
Director: Ricky Gervais.
Oh, Ricky.
The Invention Of Lying is the latest outing from the man who'll be forever tagged as David Brent.
Set in an alternate reality where no-one's ever heard of lying and everyone tells the truth (no matter how awkward and how blunt it can be) Gervais stars as Mark Bellison, a screenwriter whose career, lovelife and life in general is heading down the pan.
One day, for no reason whatsoever, after being fired and facing eviction, Bellison ends up telling a lie - and realizing he's got the power to change mankind forever, he tries to lie his way through life and see how far he can get.
However, when his mum lies dying in hospital from a heart attack, Bellison ends up stretching the truth a little - and is overheard - and ends up being proclaimed as a new messiah for the world.
The problem is Bellison soon realizes that everyone's looking to him for answers - and he barely has enough for himself.
What do you say about the Ricky Gervais written, produced and directed by effort? Well, to start off with it's a fantastic concept - which somehow becomes mired in a quasi-religious satire mixed with a large dollop of romantic comedy.
Gervais is, to be blunt, playing once again another version of the character he's been peddling for years - don't get me wrong, I like that character - the slightly smug insufferable person who's beaten down and mocked by others.
But the problem is that the script just isn't strong enough to make its way to the end - and despite the crowd pleasing celebrity cameos, there's not much to stop this film from concluding in its own inevitable way.
It's a real shame as the central concept for the Invention of Lying is quite a clever one - and there's some real emotion on show when the mother passes away. The idea that you have to lie in someway to bring some kind of comfort to people is a nice twist (ok, white lies are nothing new) and works well as it just pushes Bellison further into more trouble.

Overall, The Invention of Lying could have benefited from a slightly tighter script and more of an idea of what exactly it wanted to be - it's a shame as it had all the markings of a great film. Instead it's a mess and a crushing disappointment.

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