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.