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The Invention of Lying (2009)

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A comedy set in a world where no one has ever lied, until a writer seizes the opportunity for personal gain.
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ricky Gervais ... Mark Bellison
Jennifer Garner ... Anna McDoogles
Jonah Hill ... Frank
Louis C.K. ... Greg
Jeffrey Tambor ... Anthony
Fionnula Flanagan ... Martha Bellison
Rob Lowe ... Brad Kessler
Tina Fey ... Shelley
Donna Sorbello Donna Sorbello ... Anna's Mother
Stephanie March ... Blonde
Ruben Santiago-Hudson ... Landlord
John Hodgman ... Wedding Overseer
Nate Corddry ... News Reporter
Jimmi Simpson ... Bob
Martin Starr ... Waiter #1
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Storyline

It's a world where everyone tells the truth - and just about anything they're thinking. Mark Bellison is a screenwriter, about to be fired. He's short and chunky with a flat nose - a genetic setup that means he won't get to first base with Anna, the woman he loves. At a bank, on the spur of the moment he blurts out a fib, with eye-popping results. Then, when his mother's on her deathbed, frightened of the eternal void awaiting her, Mark invents fiction. The hospital staff overhear his description of Heaven, believe every word, and tell others. Soon Mark is a prophet, his first inventive screenplay makes him rich, and he's basically a good guy. But will that be enough for Anna? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

In a world where everyone can only tell the truth... ...this guy can lie. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for language including some sexual material and a drug reference | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 October 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

This Side of the Truth See more »

Filming Locations:

Boston, Massachusetts, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$18,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,027,472, 4 October 2009

Gross USA:

$18,439,082
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ricky Gervais's motion picture directing debut. See more »

Goofs

During Anna's first date with Mark, as she's talking with her mother on her cell phone, her phone jumps from her left to right hand and then back again. See more »

Quotes

Anna McDoogles: [with an epiphany] I've finally decided what I want!
Mark Bellison: [expecting the worst] And what is that?
Anna McDoogles: I want short fat kids with snub noses!
Mark Bellison: I'm your man.
[Mark smiles; they kiss]
See more »


Soundtracks

Beer Rally
Courtesy of Killer Tracks
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Clever Concept That Never Fully Materializes
11 October 2009 | by Matt_LaydenSee all my reviews

In a world where everyone must tell the truth, one man after being fired and almost evicted is pushed to the limits. His brain does something abnormal, he tells a lie. Not just any lie, the world's first lie. Since no one in this universe has ever heard a lie before, they take it as fact. Now this man has the world at his feet.

It is a clever concept, a clever and more massive spin on Liar Liar, yet that might not be such a good thing. The premise of this film is funny, but it becomes too much of itself and is tiresome after a while. The joke goes on and on, he tells lies, people believe him. In one scene a lie gets him in too deep to dig himself back up and that's where the conflict in this film comes in. Yet one can ask themselves a simple question, why not just lie his way out of it, instead of digging deeper holes.

Gervais is at the lead again, after his feel good comedy Ghost Town, which people decided to skip. This time around he's also behind the camera, yet nothing technical about this film pops out, it plays out like an average comedy, relying on it's one concept. The one concept gets some laughs here and there, but there are never any really laugh out loud moments.

The film has some emotional scenes, that influence the rest of the film. The comedy kind of takes a second step to the theme of religion. Some people may find this irritating. Jennifer Garner plays the romantic lead, who finds Gervais fat and with a stubby nose, not a good match genetically for a marriage and children. Yet they form a friendship, one in which Gervais hopes will blossom into something more. Does it? Well, how do romantic comedies usually work out? Here the outcome doesn't seem too believable. Things happens and people react without really knowing why, this leaves little for character arc.

How do people live in a world with no lies? Well, when you want to watch a film, you go to the theatre. In that theatre you'll see a guy sitting in a chair reciting history. Since, movies are mostly fiction, no one can make one, cause it would be a lie. See where this film goes? A retirement home becomes "A place where old people go to die", so on and so on.

The film does have some really funny cameos. It's mostly the usual comedy round, but there is at least one in which I was so caught off guard that I just couldn't help but laugh. Look out for a cop. Jonah Hill and Louis C.K. play two supporting character, neither are funny.

The film is funny, but not enough to warrant a theatre viewing. This has rental written all over it. It simply cannot stand on it's concept for too long, because it becomes a bit dull. If it were a short, I could enjoy it more.


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