Thursday, March 4, 2010

Review of The Invention of Lying

2 and a half out of 5 stars :-(

It was not as funny as I thought it was going to be-- not that funny period. Within 20 minutes, the brutal honesty became trite and tired. I thought that the point of the movie was that everyone were honest and told the truth (more specifically, when asked a question). Why, then did people randomly say odd stuff that were on their minds, unprovoked? I accepted when people told the truth when being asked that old as time question, "How are you doing?" That-- I get! In real life, how often do we reply, "I'm fine" when we are not? But for waitress to just come up to someone in a casino and tell them why they wish they were a stripper instead... this was nonsensical and ludicrous.

As the story between Ricky Gervais' character and Jennifer Garners' character unfolds, I start to notice that not only is this alternate universe a brutally honest one but it is also a superficial and judgmental one! Ultimately, the movie happens to be way more about lying and not lying-- other than what I just mentioned. There are certainly jabs at religion (how Gervais sees it anyway), marriage, love, romance, race, the class system and relationships.

Ricky Gervais' character was an endearing one and he played him well. He invoked so much pity, especially during his interaction with his longtime crush and his sick mother.
Rob Lowe was perfect as an egomaniac who was envied by men and loved by women and was the antithesis to the main character. There were a few great cameos, especially Jason Bateman as a doctor and a surprise one by someone else who played a cop (can't say who because he wasn't even in the opening credits but he's a big star and critically-acclaimed actor). Apparently, just myself and some guy behind me caught it because we were the only ones to gasp and then say, "Whoa, that's _____."

I also still praise Gervais for coming up with an original concept, co-writing the screenplay and co-directing it. As an astute film fanatic, here's a small detail I noticed, which is a nod to the directing: Gervais owned a Magnavox TV, which I am pretty sure is a defunct brand, but later on, when we finally see Garner's character's home, they begin the scene with a clear shot of her Sony TV. It just adds to the ways we discover the difference of class and that she was more well off she is than Gervais' character. Yes, I am a movie nerd... and I do not mind.

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