Sunday, February 21, 2010


Ricky Gervais often brings British humour into any movie. I first saw him on "Night at the Museum" where he plays an ironic character that sees him being someone with no-sense-of-humour but in being so, he is hilariously sarcastic. Then he was on this BBC comedy, Extras, in which in one episode featured Ben Stiller starring as a mean director who always bullied his actors, especially the extras! The comedy won Gervais a few awards, hmmm let's see ...there's an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy series, a BAFTA for his excellent performance in a comedy and multiple other British comedy awards. Brilliant credentials for a British comedian, eh? While I usually don't really get British humour, because British are more witty, intelligent and classy, there are some who just are sophisticated enough for these type of humour. However for others, British comedy is a total bore.

While I tried to enjoy "Extras", I gave up after two episodes. I guess mainly for 2 reasons. Firstly, I don't enjoy watching TV as much as I used to anymore since the Internet means that I can access practically any shows I wanna watch. Secondly, the pilot episode of "Extras" wasn't too engaging, and so I kinda lost interest...opps! Perhaps I should give it another shot?

But anyway, where am I going? I'll now focus.
I was crediting Ricky Gervais because I'd like to introduce this movie Ricky Gervais directed. Not that he actually needs any EXTRA publicity, he is great already but I thought I'd boost his sales a little by giving a little free publicity haha.

"The Invention of Lying" is a great comedy movie. It's not exactly a rom-com (romantic comedy) though it does have a touch of romance in it, but then it's not the focus of the whole story. The movie stars exceptionally brilliant Jennifer Garner, Rob Lowe and of course Ricky Gervais. It also featured Tina Fey.

The movie takes us to a world where nobody lies, perhaps not because they don't want to, but rather, they don't know how to or has no abilities to...until one day, a man invented lying because he can do so. It is really interesting to see that they would actually believe what a human say rather than the accuracy of a computer system.

What this movie present is the idea that even though lying (according to our Moral studies at the age of 7 to 12) is downright wrong, the honest fact is, we don't have to, but NEED to lie. It is a necessity sometimes. I mean, if you see someone not thin, you wouldn't just go straight and tell them that they are fat straight in the face because those are hurtful words and most of us try to avoid being such a jerk. I mean, it's good to be honest at times, but honesty has to come with wisdom. In the movie, people are just downright honest and things just doesn't seem too good for some because they are judged based on looks alone. Imagine how demotivated one would be to be constantly reminded of how ugly they are or how they suck. Plus when you are in the corporate world or in business, you need to tell certain amount of reasonable lies in order to sell. That's just what business people has to do.

So anyway when Mark Bellison (Ricky Gervais) discovered his ability to lie, he realized that he could use this to his advantage, and also to help people feel better in life. When his mum was dying, he lied and told his mum about this beautiful place people go to after they die, just so his mother feels better and happier in her deathbed. He was basically describing the place we know as 'heaven'. What he doesn't know is that because of this, the whole world became interested to know about what happens after death and they were all wanting from this man who knows stuff that they didn't know about what is beyond living. That's when Mark created the concept of God and his own 10 commandments.

It is interesting to see how Ricky Gervais brought in the concept of God into a movie, referring to God as "The Man" in the movie and somehow, the storyline in the movie is a witty way of representing God and the whole concept of religion. This is a personal opinion, but I guess "The Invention of Lying" is toying around the idea that religion itself could be something  (a lie perhaps?) created by a man to make the world a better place. No one can guarantee that what Jesus say is the truth but it is faith that makes people believe and when they do believe, they have the confidence to do things, despite the obvious disadvantage they have. There is a scene in the movie in which Mark grew a moustache and hair just like Jesus, and it's hard to shove off the idea that the movie is metaphorically referring to Mark as Jesus. No one can guarantee that we all go to heaven after we die if we do good things but then the faith and believe that we will go there has prevented us from doing evil.

Further on in the movie, Mark realized that his lies, even though has brought hope and cheers to some people, like his hopeless neighbour, friends, everyone around him and not to mention, himself, there is also a downside. People started to depend on him for answers; people go to him to tell them what are the right decisions, instead of just making their own choices and decisions. Some believe that they are going to heaven anyway, so they might as well not do anything in life except wait. I guess it applies to life too. There are some people who just pray but does nothing what-so-ever in making changes in their own life. I mean, praying is just one part of it, work and action is what really get you there. I'm not against praying because I pray a lot but then again I believe that if there's one thing that we really need to remember is that having the faith only helps us complete half the journey, the other half is running the race itself.

Basically there are 2 very obvious lessons I learn from the movie, and that is sometimes, truth just can't be told because sometimes "lies" help us believe in things that might seem impossible and by believing that it is possible, we then make it possible. Lies are also what keep the world in some ways a better place to live in because sometimes, truth could hurt so much that it could be unbearable. So I guess, lie when necessary, with wisdom as guide.

Secondly, whatever that's good, there's always a bad to it. So it is us who shall wisely take in the good and cast away the bad in whatever actions we do. Whether or not a decision is the right decision is always debatable and it is again really up to us to weigh the good and the bad before proceeding to a wise resolution.

So it is pretty clear that I enjoyed the movie. It is cleverly induced with witty humour (which I actually get hahaha) and augmented with strong messages. Plus, it stars one of my favourite actresses, Ms. Jennifer Garner a.k.a. Mrs. Ben Affleck. Overall, I'd say it is a must-watch although Rotten Tomatoes might have only credited it with a 5.8 over 10.

Excellent performances by all the cast members, witty & fun dialogues...what more can one ask for. I seriously didn't regret spending the 2 hours watching this one.

What say you?

TC-My Rating:

With Lotsa Lurve,
PS: Please don't misunderstand me, I AM NOT CONDONING LYING in this post. Just like the movie proposed, I'm just saying that we should always be able to see a few sides of things and lying could have its positive =) 

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"I love movies for its subjectivity. A movie is debatable. A single scene can mean a million things and the fun part is talking about them."