Quick Movie Review: The Invention Of Lying (2009)

I hadn’t heard good things about Ricky Gervais’ The Invention Of Lying. I don’t exactly remember what those not good things were, but they didn’t stop me from putting this flick towards the top of my queue along with all the other movies which have a very long to short wait and get sent whenever the Netflix gods deem me worthy. Luckily, the missus and I actually really enjoyed the movie, so forgetting the bad things people said wasn’t such a big deal (and probably a good way to go about life in general, but I digress).

The idea behind the movie is that in the world of Gervais and company (including Rob Lowe, Jennifer Garner, Lous CK, Tina Fey, Jonah Hill, Jeffrey Tambor, Nathan Corddry, Martin Starr, Jason Bateman, Christopher Guest, Bobby Moynihan, Ed Norton, Stephen Merchant and Philip Seymour Hoffman, mostly in one off cameos) humans never developed the ability to lie, but somehow, in the course of this story something clicks in Gervais’ head and he can lie. Since the world doesn’t know what lying is (they don’t seem to have words for real and fake or their synonyms because up till then, they didn’t need them). Gervais spends the movie digging himself deeper and deeper by not only making up a movie (which, in this world, is just a video of a reader reading a script of historical events in a chair) that involves aliens and ninjas to basically creating religion, all the while trying to get with Garner. Garner’s not having any of it because she wants her kids to be genetically superior and doesn’t want Gervais’ short, chubby genes taking over for her hot ones.

Overall it’s a pretty interesting movie that has some logical flaws like people always saying what they feel. Maybe this is a philosophical argument, but not saying something and lying aren’t the same thing to me. Of course, those statements resulted in the most laughs so what are you gonna do? I also got to wondering about this world’s original societies. Historians believe that early man invented gods because he really believed they were there, but did that happen in this world? Or, did they just stop once someone came along and said “Hey, that’s just the sun, not the eye of a giant god.” Anyway, even with those questions in mind, I still liked the movie, thought it was pretty funny and especially liked that Hollywood created a movie like this. Alternate realities in a romantic comedy? Doesn’t exactly seem like the most obvious movie to put out does it? But, as I like to remind myself, there were times when the most popular TV shows were Twilight Zone, I Dream Of Jeanie, Bewitched and Lost In Space. Maybe we just need a little more sci-fi, futuristic, alternate reality weirdness in our lives that doesn’t come from hour long dramas like Lost and Fringe. Basically, I want How I Met Your Mother IN SPACE!!!