“The Invention of Lying” is one of those movies that I have a hard time recommending to other people.
It’s my kind of movie, the kind that tackles an offbeat idea and delivers more than laughs. I’ve been thinking back to scenes ever since I saw it.
Think of “The Invention of Lying” as a first cousin to “Punch-drunk Love” and “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.” It’s odd in a good-natured way, and fascinating from start to finish.
Ricky Gervais, creator of the “The Office,” stars as Mark Bellison. He lives in a world where nobody can tell a lie.
The movies in this world feature actors sitting in chairs and reading nonfiction screenplays because to act is to tell an untruth. If someone has an unflattering physical trait, that trait will come up in conversation.
Mark isn’t the best-looking fellow, and he’s about to lose his job. He doesn’t have a shot with Anna (Jennifer Garner), and she tells him so.
Then one day Mark learns how to tell a lie. No one in his world questions what he says because no one else knows what a lie is.
The result isn’t exactly hilarity, though there are genuinely funny moments. I found “The Invention of Lying” consistently engaging, and wanted to know what’s going to happen next and why.
The movie is packed with talent, including Rob Lowe as a romantic rival and Tina Fey as a snarky secretary. You’ll also see cameos by Edward Norton, Jason Bateman, Christopher Guest, Philip Seymour Hoffman and John Hodgman – all actors that I generally enjoy to see on screen.
“The Invention of Lying” may not be your type of movie. I’m not going to say, “You have to see this,” but I’m glad I did.
I give it an A.
It’s showing at the Cinemark in Tupelo and the Malco in Corinth.
Kelli Karlson with Wizard 106.7 gives “The Invention of Lying” a
Look for movie reviews in Scene on Thursdays, and listen each Tuesday morning on Wizard 106.7 between 8:30 and 8:45 a.m.
M. Scott Morris/NEMS Daily Journal