Saturday, October 3, 2009

The Invention of Lying

Review by Rob McKinnon

Opening Date: 10/2/09
Running Time: 100 min.
Rated: PG-13
Written & Directed by: Ricky Gervais & Matthew Robinson

If "Capitalism: A Love Story" leaves you a little down, I've got just the remedy: Ricky Gervais' new release, "The Invention of Lying." Gervais, if somehow you don't already know it, is the creator and star of the original British version of "The Office." He is truly a comic genius and shouldn't be confused with the boorish character he created for "The Office." There is a great deal of humanity in his seemingly outrageous and, to some, offensively politically incorrect humor. But look a little more deeply and you'll find very human observations which are actually quite sympathetic or at least empathetic in his work. This is certainly true of this film.

Without giving too much away, the film is about a world and time almost exactly like ours except for the fact that absolutely nobody lies. No one is even aware of the concept of lying. Everyone, no matter what, speaks the truth. They don't even think about it, they just can't do anything else. This leads to a great deal of situational humor in the kinds of social and business circumstances in which most of us, frankly, filter, at least, or even lie. Of course, only to avoid hurting others, like, your friend who has an ugly baby; or, when you call in to work because you're feeling ill and in truth just didn't want to go in. Dating. I'll leave it there, because I don't want to take one hilarious enjoyment away from you.

I will tell you that eventually, one character discovers (invents) lying. And, being the only person in the world to know what it is, and be able to do it, creates even more outrageously funny happenings. Gervais is terrific as the main character. The script, which he co-wrote, is intelligent and often satirical and rises high above what could have remained a one-trick piece of extended sketch comedy in lesser hands. You are bound to enjoy every bit of the LOL film. It's a comedy which will stay with you and actually cause you to give some thought to some very interesting philosophical questions. Don't let this last observation scare you, however. Just go for the pure fun and entertainment. In other words, don't miss it. - Rob McKinnon

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