I would be lying if I said I like this film. Get it? The film is called The Invention of Lying and I used that same word in the first sentence of my review. Eh? Eh? No? If you like that type of a joke (plus countless jokes about various body functions), then you would probably enjoy this film. While I am usually all about random poop jokes, this film was just not my cup of tea (it stars Ricky Gervais, you see, and he is from England. In England they have tea… oh, never mind).
The Invention of Lying had potential. The premise of the story was actually quite interesting. Imagine a world where everyone tells the truth—in fact, lies haven’t even been invented yet, nor can people understand what they are. World Truth existed (in some parallel universe to the Earth– or Lying Liarworld IV as I will now dub it) for millions of years without the existence of a lie and things were adequate. That is, until Mark (Ricky Gervais) discovers how to lie. Mark’s ability to deceive (and the rest of the world’s ability to mindlessly believe all he says) gains him fame and fortune—but what he really wants is Anna (Jennifer Garner), though he is too decent of a person (um sure?) to lie his way into her heart/bed. Here is where I should say hilarity ensues, but I can’t quite bring myself to fib (ironic).
I really found this film to be very hit and miss. Perhaps I had built this film up too much before I saw it– great concept, funny actor playing the lead, and an all-star cast. However, it just failed to make use of all the resources at its 35mm fingertips. The writing was iffy. At times, it was witty and I appreciated the attempt at being deep and thought provoking. Just as I started to like the movie (and this happened several times throughout the 99 minutes), the film would blow it. For example, just because in the Truth World people don’t lie, I have a hard time believing that all people have the inability to censor what they are saying. Who randomly walks up to a stranger and tells them they hate their job? Or tells a coworker they are fat and stupid with no provocation? And those are two of the more mundane examples that I could think of. It is this weird stream of consciousness babble that ruins the film. I admit that a few funny lines come from this mindless jabber, but it doesn’t usually fit into the story. Boo. I also found much of the cast under-used. While I realize most of the star power was in cameo form, it just seemed like kind of a waste. Boo, indeed. On the plus side, Jennifer Garner looked phenomenal and wears cool clothes. I’m just being honest.
I know, I know, I am probably a sour person since I didn’t find this funny, but it seemed kind of Liar, Liar to me. While I appreciated the larger implications the writers were trying to make with the film, I just wish it would have gone through another round of revisions before they shot it. I think this flick sucked the funny from me (get it, sucked—because I wasn’t a fan of it…). Sigh.
So, from Lying Liarworld IV, that is it for the day.
Netflix Queue: 470