Volume 47, Number 4 - October 5, 2009

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Monique Dos Anjos
Monique Dos Anjos

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The Invention of Lying

The Invention of Lying

By Monique Dos Anjos

The Invention of Lying is not a typical “swear by the truth” scenario; these people live by it. Ricky Gervais (Ghost Town) and Matthew Robinson partner up to write and direct a film involving the whole truth and nothing but.

Imagine a world where no one lies. The very word “lie” doesn’t exist. It is inconceivable for any person to say something that isn’t fact and to try to explain a “lie” would be the truth either way for the ignorant citizens of this world.

Mark (Gervais) is a screenwriter that has been dubbed a “loser” because he doesn’t match up to the attractive standards of society and people never get tired of letting that “truth” be known to him. His love interest, Anna (Jennifer Garner, TV’s Alias), doesn’t think he’d be a good genetic match for her future children, so Mark settles for being her best friend.

Once Mark discovers that he has an uncanny talent for not telling the facts, he uses it to his advantage.

“I’m Black!” Mark states in one scene.

“I knew it,” said his oblivious friend Greg, played by Louis C.K.

 “I am a one-armed German space explorer,” Mark adds. 

“When’s your next launch date?”  Greg retorts.

From stealing money from the bank and casino’s, making up history and saving a baby, Gervais has a knack for making the most socially awkward situations laughable. Gervais’ character teaches us that there is more to life than blunt criticism.

Although Mark has the world at his fingertips, he seems to lose his grasp when one lie gets out of hand. With the invention of his lie he tells imaginative fictitious stories in a non-fictional world. Everyone will trust in everything he says, but to Anna he cannot tell a lie.

Gervais’ British humor and talent for comedy never lacks but I fear that the film falls short on pizzazz. The Invention of Lying is original and inventive in the way the world would be if honesty were the order of the day. Some people will find the film offensive; the film gives a strong sense of mockery toward religion.

Motives are never questioned, the words “truth” and “lie” do not exist, and certain phrases such as “honestly” and “I promise” are absent. But would being truthful and never lying make you less human, or does it scream “idealism”?

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