Home > Cinematically Correct, Movie Reviews, My Movie Reviews > Get Ready For An Automatic Comedic Cameo Assault In “The Invention Of Lying”

Get Ready For An Automatic Comedic Cameo Assault In “The Invention Of Lying”

"The Invention Of Lying" It’s only sheer laziness and not really knowing how to feel about “The Invention Of Lying” that has kept me from writing this review. See…I really, really enjoyed the movie and I think it’s hilarious. However, there are a few things that left a sour taste in my mouth.

In case you don’t know, the movie takes place in an alternate reality in which no human being has ever told a lie. Everyone is so brutally honest that they tell you what they think of you to your face and every single movie is a documentary…since you can’t lie to make up fiction. Needless to say, this is a damn funny premise and it’s tough to believe nobody thought of it until now.

Writer/director/star Ricky Gervais plays Mark Bellison, a screenwriter for these awfully boring documentaries, which seem to be all read by Christopher Guest. After an awful first date with Anna (Jennifer Garner), then being fired from his pathetic job the very next day, Mark has a synapse or something fire in his brain and he learns to lie. Up until this point, the movie was extremely funny. Once Mark starts lying, especially to his best friend Greg (Louis C.K.), the movie truly hits comedic gold.

You would assume that Mark would use this newfound ability to do somewhat sleazy things. Thankfully, he doesn’t really do anything too low, which keeps him likable…which leads me to Sticking Point #1. Garner’s character Anna is a shallow, cruel, and overall mean human being. She initially rejects Mark over his appearance, but once he starts lying and then succeeds in his job, she starts finding him attractive. Mark, quite naturally, falls for her anyway…which makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Call me picky, but that bothered me.

Thankfully, the romance bit doesn’t show up until about two-thirds or so into the picture, which is truly brilliantly funny. There are cameos galore and every single one of them hits the perfect note. Fans of “Extras” will be particularly tickled by the appearance of Stephen Merchant and Shaun Williamson in a very funny failed robbery attempt.

The movie starts to lose some funny as the romantic comedy cliches start flying around, particularly the wedding at the end of the movie. If you don’t think Mark ends up with Anna in the end, you’re a dummy, so I don’t think it’s ruining the movie for you to know that it happens…which is Sticking Point #2. See…Mark gets the girl by telling her flat out that there is no God. I won’t go into why this has so much to do with the movie, but up until that point, the religious satire was very funny and Python-esque. You know, politically incorrect, not offensive. Maybe I’m taking it a bit too much to heart, but it just seemed like too much of a commercial for atheism to me.

The Holy GrailDespite those two points, one of which is purely personal, “The Invention Of Lying” is one of the funniest movies of the year so far. There really isn’t anyone doing uncomfortable humor as perfect as Gervais and, like any great comic, he allows himself to be the butt of almost every single joke. Even though the movie’s last fifteen or twenty minutes are a bit cheesy, the majority of it is hilariously written and acted with comedic perfection.

Cinematically Correct note: Just so you know, it’s impossible for me to truly dislike anything involving Louis C.K. Simply put, he’s the best stand-up comedian working today.

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  1. December 5, 2009 at 9:38 PM

    Louis C.K. is freakin’ hilarious!!!!!! i’m definately gonna check out this movie now… i trust in your comedic opinions.

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