Box art for The Invention of Lying

The Invention of Lying

comedy, romance

In an alternate reality where even the concept of a lie doesn't exist, a down-on-his-luck loser named Mark suddenly develops the ability to lie, and finds that dishonesty has its rewards.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

PAUSE for kids age 14
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
3 out of 5
Positive messages
2 out of 5
Positive role models
2 out of 5
3 out of 5
4 out of 5
3 out of 5
1 out of 5

Gervais' irreverent fable isn't meant for kids.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Invention of Lying is, like most of star Ricky Gervais' humor, irreverent and edgy (though also thought provoking). Nothing is sacred -- including religion (in the movie, the concept of God, aka "The Man in the Sky," is one of the lies that the main character invents). There's no sex on screen, but there's lots of talk about it -- including masturbation references, propositions, use of words like "boobies," etc. Expect a fair bit of salty language, from name-calling ("prick," "bastard," "faggot," "manbitch") to infrequent use of "f--k" and "s--t." Characters drink beer, wine, champagne, and whiskey; there's some drunkenness, and a man is shown driving while intoxicated. Lots of commercial products are shown on screen, with some showing up in scene after scene.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about how the movie uses laughter to address some important ideas. Did it make you think in new ways about concepts like honesty, lying, and faith?
  • There are "bad" and "good" lies (fibs or white lies) in this film. Arethere times when you've not told the truth to avoid hurting someone? Are there times when a fib is better than the facts?
  • In the movie, much importance is placed on how people look -- and the necessity of having "beautiful children." What is the movie is saying about body image and our obsession with attractiveness?
  • How did the filmmakers convey that the story took place in a fantasyworld? Did the settings, characters, and dialogue help you accept thatworld?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

Top Critic Reviews

Rotten: It's bogged down in too many squishy romantic-comedy pieties.

- A.O. Scott, At the Movies, Monday, October 5, 2009

Rotten: The last third of the movie is as bad as anything I've seen this year, with the laughs trailing off, and half of the supporting characters, the zestier ones, being airbrushed from the frame.

- Anthony Lane, New Yorker, Monday, October 5, 2009

Rotten: It] does have its moments -- most of them courtesy of Gervais and his very specific brand of self-deprecating, always equivocating comedy -- just not nearly enough of them.

- Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times, Friday, October 2, 2009

Audience Reviews

3 stars

Lying: Def - To present false information with the intention of deceiving. Is lying bad? Can lying be good? I dont like people who lie to me, most especially about the small teeny weeny things, cuz if you can lie to me about those then what more about the big stuff? This movie makes lying seem to be a good thing IN CERTAIN SITUATIONS, and then it mixes it with a light jab of an aetheists view of religion and my aunties views about partnership and marriage (Genetics, oh you know old people and their views about how things should be..). Twas quite enjoyable ^_^ Most folks probably hated this cuz it does give out this message that "Oh, its okay to lie." -- Im not gonna go into the whole debate thing. Just watch it if you like the trailer, if not, then dont! :P!

- Gx7, Sunday, September 19, 2010

3 stars

I already heard some reviews about this movie before I watched it, and it wasn't a pretty good reviews... But what I saw for 100 minutes, this movie is pretty funny... Ricky Gervais is a brilliant scriptwriter for creating such an original comedy like this one... Yet, he was really great too for having so many A-class actors that played as a supporting cast and cameo in here... Name it : Jennifer Garner, Jonah Hill, Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Edward Norton, I just can say WOW...!!! The story itself begins with a really interesting story, even it becomes a little boring in the middle, but the ending made it just okay... Even there's a lot of defect on this movie, but what Ricky Gervais already done in this movie, I should gave him a big thumbs up for creating a hilarious and original comedy like this one...

- ajaymuthecooldevils, Thursday, August 12, 2010

5 stars

In a world where no one ever lies, the world is about to change when someone who is referred to as a loser tells the first lie. Mark Bellison (Ricky Gervais), is the worst screenwriter at Lecture Films & knows that he is getting fired because everyone tells him he is & his boss, Anthony reluctantly, comes into Tom's office & fires him. The night before this happens Mark has a date with Anna, (Jennifer Garner) which is set up by Anna's mother, who believes that Anna will end up alone. She even tells her own mother that she won't be sleeping with him or kiss him goodnight. When the night is over & Mark takes Anna home, she tells him that she'll probably never see him again, and on the day that Mark gets fired, she sends him an email telling him that this is true. So as you can see Mark is miserable & alone & nothing is going right but one day whenever he is evicted from his apartment because he can't pay the rent. He goes down to the bank to close his account & withdraw whatever amount is in there & he tells the teller $800 when there is only $300, but since no one in town never lies, the teller gives him the $800 believing that the system made a mistake. He starts telling more lies. He writes a screenplay & tells his old boss that he found it in a chest & Anthony invites the whole staff in to hear it. Mark also tells everyone that there is a special place you go when you die & about a man in the sky. His movie that he wrote is successful but there's only one that he doesn't have going for him Anna. Anna who is his best friend who makes him happy. Anna finds that Mark makes her happy to but she doesn't want to be involved romantically with Mark because their children would have snub noses & they would be fat. So even though they both are in love, they can't be together. Instead Anna starts seeing Brad, (Rob Lowe) who is incredibly rude and conceited. They even almost get married because they are a perfect genetic match for each other but Anna then realizes that she loves Mark & she wants to have children with little snub noses who are fat. This is a truly remarkable movie that has Ricky Gervais in what I believe is his best role & Jennifer Garner as well. It's a heartwarming tale of true love for anyone who loves a good romance with a splash of comedy combined, giving you a perfect, romantic and a very comedic marvel of a movie. I suggest you watch this great & wonderful movie!!! :)

- movieguru12, Wednesday, July 28, 2010