in Review

Lie Me a River

The Invention of Lying

A little late on this one due to myself getting sick (though that didn’t stop me from seeing two movies this weekend) So Ricky Gervais with an all star cast and an over-the-top premise? What could possibly go wrong? Well a lot apparently as Gervais’ first time in the role of co-director of a feature film falls flat far too many times. Invention of Lying isn’t that bad of a movie but when you look at all the talented people attached to it you wonder why it can’t deliver on the laughs. There’s a few faint chuckles and polite smiles here and there but I never, not even once really laughed at something.

Ricky Gervais plays Mark Bellison an unsuccessful screenwriter for a company that produces movies that are essentially just men being filmed talking about historical events. I’m not sure why movies don’t exist without lies (I assume people can’t make stuff up because it would be taken literally) but it’s a unique idea. Struggling in the workplace and even more so romantically, everything is going downhill until Mark learns to harness the power of lying on one particular visit to the bank. Following this Mark can essentially get everything he wants; fame, fortune but still has to fight to win the woman he loves.

Personally I think it’s a hilarious concept. This kind of idea leaves lots of room for stupid civilians being taken advantage of and I usually like that kind a thing. But what I don’t get is why everyone has to announce how they feel so often. I understand that everyone has to tell the truth all the time but they don’t need to say anything if nobody asks them. I guess I found it just too hard for this world to exist and I feel like if I worked it out I could find a lot of loop-holes.

What does work in this film’s favor is the charming cast and all the welcomed cameos. It’s already a delight having even the smallest roles filled by talents such as Tina Fey and Jonah Hill but to then throw in cameos from the likes of; John Hodgman, Jason Bateman, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Edward Norton and Gervais’ good buddy Stephan Merchant and you got yourself a fun little actors smorgasbord. The downside to that is there’s a bit too many characters. There’s definitely something wrong when I’m only remembering these characters do to the fact they were filled by surprising cameo appearances.

I’ll keep it brief, as I so often don’t and just say that overall this was a disappointment. Maybe I can appreciate it as an innocent little PG-13 comedy someday but for now it just didn’t satisfy me. I still love Ricky Gervais but now I can see that he isn’t perfect. I just hope that his upcoming film collaboration with Stephen Merchant, Cemetery Junction (due out next year) fills my craving for comedy filled with awkward pauses from across the pond.