Monday, February 1, 2010

Invention of Lying: A Review

I just finished watching the movie "Invention of Lying" with Ricky Gervais and Jennifer Garner.  This movie was a cute comedy, entertaining for a movie on demand.  I don't think I would have wanted to pay the theater rates to see it; however, it was pleasant. 
What I found noteworthy about the movie, though, is the interesting concept.  In the movie, mankind never developed the capacity to lie.  In fact, their entertainment is just reading history--no such thing as fiction.  The main character develops the ability to lie. 

After watching the movie, I started to wonder what people would say if they were incapable of lying.  What if the ability to lie was taken away for just a ten minute period!  Relationships would transform.  What if politicians had to be totally honest for ten minutes! 

A movie with a similar theme was Liar Liar with Jim Carrey.  Only, it was the reverse of "Invention of Lying" in which Jim Carrey's character was forced to tell the truth for a certain period of time.

What both of these movies show is the complexity of the truth and how the harsh truth is not always the most helpful.  Sometimes, the fictions we tell ourselves and others becomes a form of preservation.  However, it can also become a dangerous dependency. 

Also, "Invention of Lying" showed that there are deeper truths that are sometimes covered up by what appears to be the truth. 

So, ultimately, I liked the comedy aspect and thought the premise was interesting.


  1. It's not often a movie comes along based on a thoughtful idea.

    Rare enough in dramas, how often can it be found in comedies?

  2. There were actually some pretty deep ideas in this movie, which gave it a very multi-dimensional quality that I loved. Although a comedy, there were so many poignant scenes (the old folks home, the homeless man, the bickering couple) and of course the entire main section which mirrors Ricky Gervais's athiest beliefs. The one thing that really didn't work for me, is the fact that the character he was in love with was really much too shallow for him, and he actually seemed to love her and forgive her shallowness because of her looks.