Ricky Gervais’s latest comedic venture was overlooked by the Golden Globes. The Invention of Lying directed and written by Ricky Gervais and Matthew Robinson is a story of hope. Gervais plays Mark Bellison, a social loser in every sense of the word. He lives in a world where lies do not exist and honesty prevails to no end. Jennifer Garner is the focus of his romantic fixations. She is brutally honest with him calling him fat, a loser and verbally sharing her obvious high stature status. The brutal honesty from all characters both main and secondary prove to be the heart of the comedic atmosphere.
Mark Bellison is at the bottom of his game at the beginning of the film drowning in the truth of the beholder’s eye. He loses his job and his apartment. The only praise he gains is from his mother who resides in a nearby nursing home. Each building baring the name of their true nature, the residents of the nursing home project the negative attitude of their surroundings. Mark’s life changes when he learns to lie. His life becomes better and he brings hope to those who have none. Each individual he thrives to help better their lives. He shares his good fortune and therefore his life becomes brighter.
This is quite an inspirational movie and it is not common amongst comedies. Normally we watch comedies for entertainment not inspiration but Ricky Gervais brings about a light natured yet realistic presence to his performances. The audience can laugh, cry, then laugh again. There is never a dull moment in this film.
There is an emotional moment between Mark and his mother Martha. She shares her fear of death with her son stating she does not want to fade to a world of nothingness. It is then that Mark sees his mother needs peace and she will not have that if she dies in fear. Mark eases her fear by telling her she has much to look forward to in the afterlife. She will see loved ones and live well for an eternity. This last deed of love he does for his mother causes him to be the center of attention in his community and the world because he knows something others do not.
The film may be called The Invention of Lying but it was moreso the invention of hope. This is truly a charming film which has gone overlooked. Ricky Gervais is a hidden talent emerging at a steady rate and this film should be his defining glory. It deserves a place in the long list of classic comedies.