Mark: “I did a bad thing.”
Anna: “It’s o.k., you get three!”
There is an old saying that says once you tell a lie you usually have to cover it by telling another, and so on, but what if you live in a world where everything that is ever said is the truth no matter how brutal it is and lying does not exist?
This is the world that our friend and lovable loser Mark Bellison is from. Mark (Ricky Gervais) is an unfortunate loser of a character who seems to have no luck at all, except bad luck.
When Mark loses his job and is threatened with eviction he is forced to withdraw all of his savings from the bank and this is where his life changes. Mark develops the uncanny ability to say things, that aren’t. There is no word for it, because lying does not exist, and Mark suddenly realizes he has a chance to turn his life around.
With his new found ability, to tell things that aren’t, Mark aggressively takes advantage gaining everything from fortune and fame to getting the only person he loves to fall for him. Everything is great until his Mother is told she is going to die. When Mark realizes he can’t stand seeing his Mother die thinking she is going to complete nothingness, he fabricates a story, as only he can, to comfort her and this is where things start to unravel. His story suddenly becomes a world wide phenomenon and he has to figure out how to get it under control.
Gervais does a fantastic job of not only directing but acting and developing characters that we can actually care about. There are a lot of emotions being dealt with in this story and by the end of the movie I genuinely felt like I cared what happened to everyone.
Although a bit dark at times, this movie is very funny and is ignited by great supporting performances from Jennifer Garner, Rob Lowe, Jonah Hill, Louis C.K., Jeffrey Tambor and Tina Fey. There are also a number of great cameo’s from the likes of Philip Seymour Hoffman and Edward Norton.
No movie is without flaws and I did have some issues with this one. The biggest problem I had was that much of the dialogue was not necessarily about the characters answering questions truthfully as it was more random thoughts being spoken out loud. It was funny stuff, but it did tend to water down the story.
I know that I will take some heat as there are a lot of folks out there that kicked this one to the curb. I don’t feel it is as strong as his last outing, “Ghost Town”, but overall, “The Invention of Lying” is a Romantic Comedy that doesn’t take itself too seriously and still manages to be funny and stimulating. I do hope that we continue to see more and more from Ricky Gervais.