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The Invention of Lying (2009)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy, Fantasy  |  2 October 2009 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 89,513 users   Metascore: 58/100
Reviews: 280 user | 190 critic | 31 from

A comedy set in a world where no one has ever lied, until a writer seizes the opportunity for personal gain.

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Donna Sorbello ...
Waiter #1


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 setup 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? Written by <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

love | truth | lie | screenwriter | heaven | See All (222) »


In a world where everyone can only tell the truth,.....he's just invented the lie! See more »


Comedy | Fantasy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for language including some sexual material and a drug reference | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

| |  »



Release Date:

2 October 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

This Side of the Truth  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$18,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£1,735,326 (UK) (2 October 2009)


$18,439,082 (USA) (11 December 2009)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The film's credits are set in the Windsor typeface, used notably in the films of Woody Allen. See more »


When Mark is trying to withdraw his money from the bank and system is on again, the bank teller says she can now access his account, but you can clearly see on her screen that she has already been looking at it. See more »


Anna's Mother: Just because he's talking to the man in the sky doesn't mean he's good enough to be your friend.
See more »


Featured in Siskel & Ebert: Episode dated 3 October 2009 (2009) See more »


Beer Rally
Courtesy of Killer Tracks
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Charmingly Clever
23 October 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Brilliant concept and terrific execution. Wonderful casting.

Ricky Gervais and Jennifer Garner are absolutely believable throughout their respective characters' evolution, and they play off each other very well. In fact, everyone's performance is spot on. And the cinematography beautifully plays up (or down, rather) the fictional world which is the story's setting.

If you're hoping for non-stop one-liners and ridiculousness throughout, this is not your film. While this film's cheeky, pointed story is loaded with wit - including some side-splitting scenes (I cried with laughter watching Ricky Gervais' character face questions from a credulous crowd) - it has a real and rather serious plot. There is a point to this fiction, indeed.

137 of 205 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
There's a difference between "telling the truth" and "having no filter" paperplane17
The Invention of Politeness unlusan
He lies before 'the lie' ... jackrubysdog-163-559869
Obvious plot hole ThisIDhasntalreadybeentaken
He invented heaven much like 'heaven'? doubtful lishol7-1
Why did they not act out the history-movies gunnar-435-781169
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