Skip to main content

Review: Invention of Lying


Invention of Lying has an excellent premise and an ace funny man to deliver on it in Ricky Gervais so why the low score on Rotten Tomatoes (a site I find decreasing in value every day)? The fact that Lying isn't a strict comedy probably did it in for a lot of people expecting this to be a full-on comedy that instead aims more for your head than your gut.

Mark Bellison (Gervais) is a struggling writer for a movie company and is on the verge of being fired tomorrow virtually everyday. But life is looking up for him through a favor acquired through a mutual friend Mark scores a date with Anna McDoogles (Jennifer Garner). Although there is a spark Mark is not a capable genetic match for Anna and her hopes for attractive children. After finally being fired the next day, Mark faces eviction and heads to the bank to withdrawal all of his savings. There, to his astonishment, he creates the world's first lie, and extracts far more money from the bank than he has.

With his newfound lying abiltity Mark becomes the world's most renown screenwriter, and fabulously wealthy. But this is where the film veers off. Now don't get me wrong it's still funny, but it also becomes much more than just a comedy. BTW look for Edward Norton in a hilarious cameo role that rivals the surprise cameo in Zombieland.

The most heart-breaking moment of the year has to belong to Lying. With his mother dying and afraid of the eternal nothingness that awaits for her after death Mark creates the concept of heaven for her to ease her transition. After doing so Mark becomes a world-wide phenomenon and creates "God" if you will. Mark's actions have unintended consequences and what was done to create hope in a hopeless society causes people start considering killing themselves in order to get to heaven sooner.

I imagine that pro-religion critics will tear this down for no other reason then they were offended by the(I'm quoting someone in my theatre) ,"fucking tasteless ridicule of Christianity". A) It questioned all religions, not just Christianity B) For the most part the message was that this life may be all we have, be a good person in the short time we have C) He probably couldn't figure that out because he kept vacuuming popcorn like an elephant.

Gervais must have balls of steel to have written that knowing full well how this film will be received in the United States.

***/****

Popular posts from this blog

Review: Anomalisa

Weird is rarely used as a good quality in film criticism, but few words so completely describe Charlie Kaufman’s work as weird does. All of his films are a window into his very particular worldview, and that p.o.v. is certainly unlike anything seen in pop culture. For that reason, Anomalisa became an entry on many most anticipated lists for 2015. That Kaufman chose stop-motion to tell this story made the picture an event. So it came as a disappointment when the film was one of the year’s more mundane efforts.

Being John Malkovich and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind have an energy and heart at the center that is not present here. Previous collaborators like Spike Jonze and Michel Gondry were able to temper the overwhelming negativity Charlie Kaufman occasionally falls prey to, but, this time, the writer doesn’t have a director to rein things in. In all of his efforts to create an experience that is both familiar and alienating, Kaufman may have accidentally created something host…

Review: The Salvation

Westerns have never recovered from the oversaturation that killed off viewer interest decades ago, but every now and then a gem pops up. Recent successes like The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, 2007’s 3:10 to Yuma and the Coen brothers adaptation of True Grit all did well because they tweaked the genre slightly, but director Kristian Levring goes with an old school approach. A faithful recreation of those revenge Westerns made so popular in the 1970s, The Salvation envelopes many elements of previous Clint Eastwood classics and wraps it into a tidy package.

The Salvation starts in on the central dilemma, joining Jon (Hannibal‘s Mad Mikkelsen) at the train station where he awaits the arrival of his wife and son. Jon and his brother, Peter (Mikael Persbrandt), have lived in the United States long enough to build a hospitable life for their family back in Denmark. This homecoming should be a sweet moment to establish the family important to Jon, but fate plays out…

Review: Selma

It may surprise many that Martin Luther King Jr. never received the celluloid treatment prior to Selma. Sure he had been mentioned in other historical pieces, but short of documentary footage, King was never given center stage. Quite shocking given the man's legacy and the lingering effect of his efforts still felt today. Several years of production and a director change later, Selma arrives as the film worthy of the man.