Movie and DVD Guide

Find Movies and Tickets

Choose Your Movie

All movies
or
The Invention of Lying (2009) The truth? Ricky Gervais' jolting philosophical comedy The Invention of Lying is seriously subversive. What other rom-com would spend so much time making a convincing… 2009-10-02 PG-13 PT100M Comedy Jennifer Garner Ricky Gervais Louis C.K. Tina Fey Rob Lowe Warner Bros.
Movie Review

The Invention of Lying (2009)

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Find theaters showing The Invention of Lying in your area

Ricky Gervais, Jennifer Garner, ... | LYING TO MEET YOU Jennifer Garner and Ricky Gervais seek romance despite the odds in The Invention of Lying
Image credit: Sam Urdank
LYING TO MEET YOU Jennifer Garner and Ricky Gervais seek romance despite the odds in The Invention of Lying
EW's GRADE
B+

Details Release Date: Oct 02, 2009; Rated: PG-13; Length: 100 Minutes; Genre: Comedy; With: Jennifer Garner and Ricky Gervais; Distributor: Warner Bros.

The truth? Ricky Gervais' jolting philosophical comedy The Invention of Lying is seriously subversive. What other rom-com would spend so much time making a convincing case that 
 belief in an afterlife is a harmless load of bollocks? Much less one starring a radiant Jennifer Garner as a pretty lady looking to marry a pretty man and make pretty children (which theoretically leaves a disappointed Gervais out of the running as a beau)? In a hilariously literal-
minded society where people can't help but speak the truth, Gervais is the one guy who realizes that lies can be useful. Wait, it's deeper than that: Without lying — or ''making things up,'' if you'd prefer a more uplifting spin — our hero demonstrates that there'd be a lot of hurt, hopeless people on earth, and no good screenplays.

Perhaps only Gervais — the inconvenient-truth teller from the BBC's The Office and Extras, the dry voice of reason on awards shows — could argue the pros and cons of 
 lying so well, attracting a hip cast that includes Rob Lowe, Louis C.K., and Tina Fey 
 to back him up. Honesty compels me to say that the tech aspects are often muddy. (Gervais makes a behind-the-camera debut, codirecting and co-writing with newcomer Matthew Robinson.) But the performances are razor sharp. And the ideas in this movie are, no kidding, big. B+

See all of this week's reviews

Originally posted Sep 29, 2009 Published in issue #1069-1070 Oct 09, 2009 Order article reprints