Bertram Pincus is a man whose people skills leave much to be desired. When Pincus dies unexpectedly, but is miraculously revived after seven minutes, he wakes up to discover that he now has the annoying ability to see ghosts.
When he finds out that his work superiors host a dinner celebrating the idiocy of their guests, a rising executive questions it when he's invited, just as he befriends a man who would be the perfect guest.
Andy Millman (Ricky Gervais) is an actor with ambition and a script. Reduced to working as an extra with a useless agent, Andy's attempts to boost his career invariably end in failure and embarrassment.
After spending the night together on the night of their college graduation Dexter and Emma are shown each year on the same date to see where they are in their lives. They are sometimes together, sometimes not, on that day.
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
This may be the most philosophical romantic comedy since Groundhog Dog(Ramis, 1993). It starts with the brilliant premise "What if nobody had ever told a lie and did not even understand that a lie was possible?" It is an interesting question. The movie first draws laughs by setting up this type of world. It then draws laughs by showing us how lying can turn the world upset down.
A great comedy entertains and this one does that, but it also raises some highly provocative questions about religion and people's susceptibility to it. To put icing on the cake, the movie has some startlingly beautiful scenes, for example, where the lead character soothes his mother over her coming death and the scene where Mark (Ricky Gervais) refuses to lie to Anna (Jennifer Garner).
Gervais reminds one of Lou Costello with a sweetness and gentleness unique for a comedian unique for this age. Jennifer Garner at age 37 here seems a little too old for the working-girl looking to get married part, but she has never looked more beautiful than in this movie.
There are some nice short scenes with Tina Fey, Jeffrey Tambor and others. One wishes that their characters could have been more developed and had more to do.
On the DVD, there's a great 7 minute prequel, which apparently was supposed to be the beginning of the movie. It is terrific and I think they made a mistake in editing it out. Be sure to watch it.
I plan on showing scenes from this movie to my Philosophy class next semester.
One warning, thoughtless evangelicals will probably see it as an attack on their holiness fantasy, so don't invite your born-again Christian friends over to see it.
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