The Invention of Lying

“This one hardly counts. Ed’s only in it for about 5 minutes. Actually the YouTube clip clocks in at 2:36. Let’s watch it, shall we?

I saw this movie at the theater on a whim. I’d been getting interested in Ricky Gervais, prolly with all the Golden Globe stuff, and had a free evening. The roomie I had back then joined me. I did not know Norton had a cameo. It wasn’t until halfway thru his scene that I even recognized him, and even then I wasn’t quite sure until I IMDB-ed it at home. A few months later, I’m watching the DVD at the apt. The roomie walks in “”You bought that? I thought you didn’t really like it”” “”Yeah, but Edward Norton’s in it. I had to”” “”What? He’s in it?”” It almost took longer to describe the scene than it would have been to just rewind and play it.

Even if it’s only a short part, it’s a fun one. This movie is filled with some fantastic cameos and bit parts, definitely it’s biggest strength. Norton was a less obvious choice (among names like Tina Fey and Jeffrey Tambour) but he proves that he can run with the big dogs of comedy. Again, we’ve been over how he’s best known for his dramatic roles, but he can play the comedy game too.

As far as the rest of the movie, I do have some rather strong feelings about the movie. The premise is original and clever. The failure is in the execution. It starts off great. A lot of fantastic dialogue and shock comedy. And its an intriguing scenario that gets you thinking. I have two major problems with it. The first is that there’s a difference between not lying and being overly forthcoming. It’s one thing to answer questions with some overly truthiness. It’s another to just announce TMI items when you meet someone. Even if that’s your entire inner monologue at the time, not lying does not equal no filter. Any of those moments just seemed forced.

I could have gotten over that. However, my bigger issue was the anti-religious turn the movie took about halfway. Its not that I have a problem with the point they were trying to make. I may not necessarily agree with it (I dont) but I am okay with people expressing their opinions. My problem is that the movie really didn’t need to go there. Yes, I’m actually about to advocate for a romantic plotline, but if they’d just stuck to that it would have worked much better. Or at least not played up the religious storyline so much. Ricky Gervais has always been clear on this thoughts on the subject, but he doesnt hafta beat us over the head with it. They just keep driving and driving the point that it goes from clever to (anti)preachy and it just overpowers everything.


Oooh in crossposting this entry, I found my old write up. Not sure why it’s not on my index page, but here it is…

Really intriguing premise. The movie started off hi-larious. I found a strange sorta irony in how humorous the real truth can be. Such completely off the wall statements kept coming from all directions, delivered in a very matter of fact manner. Although my favorites were the ones that were written down–names of places, slogans, etc. But then somewhere along the way, the novelty wore off. They realized there had to be a story that went somewhere, and it sorta didnt. I ended up quite bored for the entire second half.

There were also a lot of consistency and conceptual issues. Most of them were forgivable, but there was something just a bit off about the overall concept that I cant quite put my finger on.

On the acting side, mostly liked Ricky Gervais. I’d never actually seen him with more than a bit role or 5 minutes of show stealing during an awards show. He reminded me of Eddie Izzard, which is a very good thing because Izzard’s got the only British comedy I like so that made me like Gervais. Although there was the occasional bit of douche bag overload in his character. Never been a fan of Jennifer Garner, and I prolly never will. But her bubbly cuteness worked well, although I think she played a bit more of an airhead than was intended.

However, the best was the cameo –> featured size roles. Philip Seymour Hoffman, Tina Fey, Jonah Hill, Jason Bateman, Jeffrey Tambor, even Edward Norton (who snuck up on me. Had no idea before he was in this, and with him being my favorite actor, Im usually on top of these things). All of them were just brilliant.

Yeah that’s the short roundup. Your best bet would prolly be to watch the first half of the movie, then hop theathers over to Zombieland just in time for the awesome cameo. Or figure some other clever way of only watching the good half of this flick”

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