The Invention of Lying (2009)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: It doesn't quite follow through on its promise, and relies too heavily on shopworn romantic comedy tropes, but The Invention of Lying is uncommonly sly and funny.


Movie Info

"The Invention of Lying" takes place in an alternate reality in which lying--even the concept of a lie--does not even exist. Everyone--from politicians to advertisers to the man and woman on the street--speaks the truth and nothing but the truth with no thought of the consequences. But when a down-on-his-luck loser named Mark suddenly develops the ability to lie, he finds that dishonesty has its rewards. In a world where every word is assumed to be the absolute truth, Mark easily lies his way to … More

Rating: PG-13 (for language including some sexual material and a drug reference)
Genre: Comedy
Directed By: ,
Written By: Ricky Gervais, Matthew Robinson
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jan 19, 2010
Box Office: $18.4M
Runtime:
Warner Bros. Pictures - Official Site

Cast


as Mark Bellison

as Anna McDoogles

as Greg

as Martha Bellison

as Brad Kessler

as Shelley

as Anna's Mother

as Wedding Overseer

as News Reporter

as Waiter #1

as Nathan Goldfrappe

as Angelo Badsmith

as Jim the Bartender

as Nurse #1

as Waiter at Fancy Rest...

as Bank Teller

as Assistant

as Richard Bellison

as Man at the Door

as Short Fat Brian

as Arguing Girlfriend

as Arguing Boyfriend

as Person #1

as Person #2

as Person #3

as Yelling Man

as Young Man

as Man #2

as Man #6

as Receptionist

as Woman #3

as Woman #5

as Woman #6

as Woman #7

as Elderly #1

as Elderly #2

as Elderly #3

as Woman in Business Su...

as Crying Man

as Cocktail Waitress

as Pit Man

as Roulette Dealer

as Waiter #2

as Chip Woman

as Shouting Man

as Tour Guide

as Hostess in LaBoniser...

as Blue Collar Guy

as Terrorist #1

as Secretary

as Bully Kid

as Talking Head Woman

as Talking Head Woman

as Talking Head Man

as Blue Collar Guy
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Invention of Lying

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Critic Reviews for The Invention of Lying

All Critics (182) | Top Critics (40)

There are cycles of inspiration and rebirth, but the barbed promise of the early going loses its way in choices aimed at sentimentality rather than, as Harvey Kurtzman memorably put it, humor in a jugular vein.

Full Review… | November 22, 2009
Film.com
Top Critic

Light and disposable entertainment to be sure, but that trademark dry Gervais wit keeps the proceedings engaging enough.

Full Review… | January 26, 2014
TheMovieReport.com

As mildly amusing as it can be in places, it still won't convince non-fans that Gervais can play anything other than the fool.

Full Review… | September 29, 2012
TheShiznit.co.uk

Gervais' satiric barbs on religion, beauty, disillusionment and the basic human need for hope aim for our comfort zones, and they all hit home.

Full Review… | September 29, 2011
American Profile

The premise is clever but the film is not bold enough

Full Review… | June 29, 2011
EmanuelLevy.Com

The comedy is definitely there, but a heavy romantic focus drags it down in parts.

Full Review… | October 29, 2010

Audience Reviews for The Invention of Lying

½

In a world where everyone tells the truth (even when unprovoked - a nit at which this and many other reviewers have picked), Mark Bellison discovers that he can lie and uses that superpower for good...for the most part.

The love story arc of Anna figuring out what she wants in a mate is well-paced with a nice moment of her defending the chubby kid who got ice cream smashed in his face by the better-gened kids. Mark's weepy moment of describing a Kindergartener's conception of Heaven to his frightened, dying mother is lovely, but the rest of his Christian scripture is a bit slapstick, and I was disappointed that the movie didn't make more of a comment on spiritual solace, the truth and lies of religion, and Truth's partner: Consequences.

Ricky Gervais does his cheeky hosting bit in the proselytizing scenes, but he actually gets rather endearing and emotional throughout the movie. I do love seeing PSH in oafish comedic roles, and I'm digging Louis C.K.'s Above Average Schmo schtick more and more. Jennifer Garner is also requisitely frosty and vapid, then tender and sweet.

I especially dig Anna's deleted scene monologue of her appeal, which says so much about real-life Millennial women, female romantic leads in movies, and Anna's own character who just comes off as flatly bitchy at first: "In fact, there are very few things in life I care that much about. The only things I have to offer myself, or anyone else are my good looks and my affected sense of quirkiness which artistically inclined men interpret as intellect. I think my best trait is the fact that I've made very few mistakes. Socially, academically, financially, romantically. I take very few risks and therefore lead a relatively happy, light-hearted existence. Mostly though, I am a kind, sweet person with the potential of genuinely becoming a vital and interesting human being the day I take the energy I expend on hyper-self-reflexivity and apply it to actual action in the reality of my life."

aliceinpunderland
Alice Shen

Super Reviewer

½

Amusing if not exceptional comedy, Gervais has yet to make a movie that is anywhere near as enjoyable or original as one of his many TV shows.

stuartb1234
Stuart Brooks

Super Reviewer

Oh dear this looked ok from the trailer. Thought it would be a mix of Liar, Liar with Bruce Almighty. Unfortunately n where near as funny as those two. In fact for a comedy apart from the main plot running through the film, it tries to be a bit too serious for a comedy. As a result not that much to laugh at here. I expected a lot better and was let down.

Deano78
Dean King

Super Reviewer

The Invention of Lying Quotes

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