BY KYLE LESNAK
“The Invention of Lying”, directed and starred in by comedian Ricky Gervais, is a romantic comedy about a man who lives in a world where the idea of lying doesn’t exist at all.
In a world where the concept of lying doesn’t exist, everyone is brutally honest with each other, no matter how much it may hurt. After a failed date with the beautiful and rich Anna Mcdoogles, Mark Bellison, a screenwriter who is limited to non-fictional movies set in the 14th century, is fired from his job and on top of that is about to be evicted from his apartment if he doesn’t get his landlord $800 by the end of the day. As Mark goes to the bank to take out his measly $300 from his account, he has an epiphany, and instead of asking for the amount he has, he decides to tell the very first lie. After saying he wants to withdraw $800, the amount his landlord asked for, they actually give it to him. With this new power, he’s able to prevent his best friend Greg from getting arrested, makes up a story about aliens attacking in the 14th century that erases everyone’s memory, cheats at a casino, and gets another date with Anna. But after getting a call, Mark has to abandon the date after hearing his mom had a heart attack. When he’s told she’s going to die, he tries to comfort her by telling her about a great place that she will go to. After word spreads about this world after death, people flock to Mark’s apartment to learn more and with the combined power of his mind and two pizza boxes, Mark uses his abilities to change the world.
One thing I can really commend about this movie is just how well they stick to the idea of a world where no one can lie. They don’t even use words like honest or lie, which makes a lot of sense: the word wouldn’t even exist if the idea of lying was never thought of until then. This movie doesn’t hide anything; when someone says something, they truly mean it, and when Mark tells a lie, you can see just how heavily it contradicts what’s going on. The story seemed like it was going to be very basic, but then it escalated to the point where religions were getting made and the idea of some fictional being ruling over everything was pretty bizarre. It does seem like they forgot about a few things, mainly Mark’s job as a screenwriter, but there were so many characters that were just written out of the script never to be seen again.
It was a very bumpy movie when it comes to the plot, but I still enjoyed it. I thought it had some good jokes, especially with everyone being brutally honest about everything. But the whole idea of trying to tell people that religion doesn’t exist in a world that can’t lie seems a bit pushy on their own beliefs. But thinking about it as a comedy, it works pretty well. Maybe avoid it if you have some heavy beliefs, but it sticks to its name and I think that’s worth something.