The Invention of Lying (2009)

Spoiler Free
Comedy/ Romance
Rated 12A

I’m pretty sure I’ve been over this on the blog before, but just to be clear, I really like Ricky Gervais. I don’t completely understand why people don’t but then I don’t get why people like La La Land. Swings and roundabouts. If you hate Ricky Gervais then stop here, Bedsit Cinema has a few hundred other brilliant romance reviews for you to read.

Fairly sure I’d seen it before and didn’t like it (I don’t like everything Gervais does) I put The Invention of Lying on anyway as I had some writing to do and I apparently I can’t do anything these days without background noise. I hadn’t seen it, and almost immediately was chortling away.

In a world where nobody can tell a lie, ever, the film opens as Mark (Gervais) turns up early for a date with Anna (Jennifer Garner). She immediately tells him that he’s early and she hadn’t finished masturbating. She goes on to remind him that he’s not going to get anywhere with her and she’s essentially along for a free meal. Didn’t realise safety wanks worked for women.
The Invention of Lying sets its stall out pretty early on, if you don’t enjoy the first ten minutes you probably won’t make it to the end. There are some lovely comedy moments and some incisive peeks into human interaction. The main comedic output is Ricky Gervais's awkward schtick; Jennifer Garner is good too and the rest of the cast is basically anyone and everyone.

Just some who show up include Tina Fey, Rob Lowe, Jonah Hill, Louis C.K. (boo), Jeffrey Tambor (double boo), Jason Bateman, Philip Seymour Hoffman (aww), Ed Norton, Stephen Merchant… you get the picture.

Where the film excels is in its examination of the nature of truth, whether it’s actually a good thing to always be entirely honest, and also the romance (or lack thereof) between Gervais and Garner. Obviously she’s way out of his league, and that is essentially the obstacle he battles against with his little white lies, and his whopping great stinkers.

While The Invention of Lying is funny, a feat it largely keeps up in spite of the traditional comedic third act joke void- which is a personal gripe, I completely understand that the film is hugely subjective. A little more cerebral than your average rom-com.

Bedsit it?

Look it’s on Netflix so you can throw it away with disappointment like an unwritten French letter if you want, but I’d recommend The Invention of Lying for those who aren’t opposed on premise for filling a night in enjoyably.
Funny and almost moving toward the end. 7/10 Check out these other reviews from the blog posted this year... THE BEDSIT CINEMA AWARDS PATTON GRAND ISLE FAST & FURIOUS PRESENTS: HOBBS & SHAW THE NIGHTINGALE


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