Tuesday, June 8, 2010
The Invention of Lying (2009)
It's a world where everyone tells the truth - and just about anything they're thinking. Mark Bellison is a screenwriter, about to be fired. He's short and chunky with a flat nose - a genetic pool that means he won't get to first base with Anna, the woman he loves. At a bank, on the spur of the moment he blurts out a fib, with eye-popping results. Then, when his mother's on her deathbed, frightened of the eternal void awaiting her, Mark invents fiction. The hospital staff overhear his description of Heaven, believe every word, and tell others. Soon Mark is a prophet, his first inventive screenplay makes him rich, and he's basically a good guy. But will that be enough for Anna?
If you read the reviews at Rotten Tomatoes they mostly agree that this movie has a fantastic idea, an excellent first 30 minutes and then doesn't do much with what it started with. I agree. Such an original plot and that first half hour has some of the funniest original writing and scenes you'll have ever seen in a comedy. However, when it moves into the religeous/afterlife section it stops being clever and gets uninteresting and formulatic.
I'm not terribly religious, so I thought the comments about religion wouldn't apply to my critique, but I was mistaken. Like many other comments (and I can't offer much new here), I was a bit disappointed that it started out as a comedy and morphed into a film on theology.