Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Invention of Lying. C

Ricky Gervais deserves applause for an attempt at bringing a creative idea to the screen, yet the praise doesn't really go beyond that. The high concept here is that it is in man's nature to only speak the truth, which includes speaking your mind at all times. It gets pretty harsh, but in this world things have always been such, so the people are quite used to it. Gervais plays his typical sad-sack, lonely single man looking for love who suddenly becomes universally famous for lying-only no one knows it. Gervais uses this for comic purposes and also to delve into some issues about life after death. But though he attempts to go after some big questions, Gervais answers them shallowly, creating an awkward mess of a movie that confuses the viewer as to when it's meant to be funny. The main sell for the film is its concept, but it wasn't as great as it sounds. Just imagine a movie where everyone says those horrible things that they think but never dare to utter. It's fun at first, but gets old far too soon. And besides that, this is a pretty formulaic romantic comedy that even dares to end with one of those wedding scenes that has been used countless times, from Shrek to Made of Honor. I had hoped Gervais would have known better.

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