Director: Ricky Gervais and Matthew Robinson
Cast: Ricky Gervais, Jennifer Garner, Louis C.K., Jonah Hill, Rob Lowe, and Tina Fey
Plot: In a world where nobody can tell a lie, Mark Bellison (Ricky Gervais) works for a movie production company and is regarded as the worst screenwriter, basically of all time. Mark doesn’t have too many things going well for him. He blew another date with a somewhat engaging girl, Jennifer Garner, he gets picked on at work by better writers like his nemisis Brad (Rob Lowe), and even his secretary (Tina Fey) thinks he is a failure and hates working for him. One day Mark finds out something amazing. He figures out that he can say something that isn’t the truth, this way getting enough money to pay his rent. Once he finds this out he uses it to his advantage and pretends to find a story that he can use to make him the best screen writer of all time. Mark becomes a god-like figure once word gets out that he apparently knows things about what happens after you die, after some people overheard him trying to make his mother happy before she passed away. Becoming god isn’t easy and Mark has to figure out if what he is doing is right or if it really is wrong.
Breakdown: This movie uses its premise to good use but once the movie is over it feels like they could have done better. It is funny, sometimes even hilarious, especially watching Gervais come up with the rules of the world and posting them on two pizza boxes. In this world where no one can lie however, it seems like people will just randomly say the first thing that pops into their heads rather than them just telling the truth when it comes time to. While it does have it shares of flaws the movie is funny and succeeds mostly due to its talented cast.
Performances: Ricky Gervais, who previusly did good work in the underrated Ghost Town, once again does a pretty good job as the lead here. Its a shame that this movie doesn’t give him more to work with considering he is actually quite funny. Jennifer Garner is very likeable as a sweet, cute love interest for Gervais’ character. She provides some good, sweet moments to the movie. Both Louis C.K. and Jonah Hill aren’t given much to do but they do make their characters work and they each have a couple funny lines or two. Rob Lowe also is pretty good as sort of the a-hole guy who thinks he’s so much better than the protagonist. Tina Fey doesn’t get anything to do at all. She has about two scenes and the one scene where she actually speaks she doesn’t really say anything funny. Also we get a couple of funny cameos from Edward Norton and Phillip Seymour Hoffman.
Overall: The Invention of Lying is a moderately funny comedy that could have been a lot better but settles as an ok comedy that never really fulfills its potential.