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Trailers for Invention of Lying Lied to Moviegoers

John on October 3, 2009 at 9:55 am

Here’s the trailer for Ricky Gervais, The Invention of Lying:

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Makes it look like Liar, Liar in reverse. A romantic comedy with an edge.

Only that’s not what the film is about. Here’s how a few reviewers described it:

MARKETED as a romantic comedy, “The Invention of Lying” turns out to be a dour, shouty atheist manifesto. With a change of scenery it could have been called “Godless in Seattle.”

Star, co-writer and co-director Ricky Gervais seems to have come across one of those high-concept Hollywood comedy scripts — a bit “Liar, Liar,” a bit “Groundhog Day” — and decided it would be the perfect vehicle to load up with his outspoken atheism, and then dump it all over an unsuspecting audience. – NY POST

Gervais, who has talked about his atheism in his other work as a comedian, sees religion as a kind of ultimate lie, one that has been used for good and ill. – San Francisco Chronicle

Set in a parallel universe where everything looks the same but no one ever lies, this wonderfully subversive farce makes comic mincemeat of the Judeo-Christian ethic. – Rolling Stone

He stumbles upon the art of lying when he tries to ease Mum’s fears about what awaits her — a beautiful eternity, he says, with a mansion and all her friends nearby. The eavesdropping nurses and doctor ( Jason Bateman) want to know more.

Word of Mark’s amazing discovery spreads and soon people are camped in front of his apartment house Sermon-on-the-Mount style, along with hordes of media. If you’re sensing a biblical theme, you would be correct.

At Anna’s urging, Mark agrees to share the good news, telling the masses about the “man in the sky” who controls everything, a wondrous eternity and the 10 rules you have to follow to get there. Those 10 rules just happen to be recorded on two tablets created out of Pizza Hut boxes, so I guess they could have called the film “The Invention of Product Placement” too. – Los Angeles Times

Provocatively, the big lie that changes everything is the promise of an afterlife Mark gives to his mother on her deathbed. The word soon gets out, and Mark is forced to spell out the tenets of the world’s first religion, as dictated to him by “the man in the sky.” Or so he says, and who should doubt it?

You have to admire the audacity of such sacrilegious mischief-making, but truth be told, the movie loses its way the longer Gervais spins out this anti-parable. His false prophet acquires fame and fortune but still struggles to convince the girl that he’s a better bet than Rob Lowe in the genes department. – CNN

I guess the marketing of the film matches its theme. Sometimes you’ve got to lie to people to get what you want.

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Category: Movies |

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