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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 90,400 users   Metascore: 58/100
Reviews: 281 user | 190 critic | 31 from Metacritic.com

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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1 nomination. See more awards »



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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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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 »


In the bar scene, there is a full glass of beer in front of Mark. When the camera cuts to the bartender then back to Mark, his beer glass is near empty, now accompanied by several empty shot glasses. See more »


Mark Bellison: I did a bad thing...
Anna McDoogles: It's ok you get three!
See more »


Referenced in An Idiot Abroad: Trans-Siberian Express (2011) See more »


(1974) (uncredited)
Written by Rick Davies and Roger Hodgson
Performed by Supertramp
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Good vehicle for (and by) Gervais
11 August 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I was pleasantly surprised by this film. From a simple premise as "lying doesn't exist" it develops into a thoughtful tale with a touch of satire. On the one hand it exposes early on the basic first impressions we all have of each other and of situations we find ourselves in. On the other, it touches on the importance of being honest about what we know and especially honest about what we don't know.

I could examine all the inconsistencies inherent to a concept like this. One would think that without the concept of duplicity, we should be far more advanced than we currently are. One would also think that without lying, there would be no imagination and therefore very few scientific discoveries and advances. The story requires that you don't think about that too much, just to enjoy the script as it moves along.

Gervais carries the film along as planned, in his quiet, self-effacing way. The humor won't have you rolling on the floor, but the frankness of the casual insights should make anyone snicker with self-awareness at the truth of it all.

37 of 43 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

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There's a difference between "telling the truth" and "having no filter" paperplane17
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He lies before 'the lie' ... jackrubysdog-163-559869
He invented heaven much like 'heaven'? doubtful lishol7-1
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Why did they not act out the history-movies gunnar-435-781169
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