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The Invention of Lying (2009)

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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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3,306 ( 250)
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ricky Gervais ... Mark Bellison
Jennifer Garner ... Anna McDoogles
Jonah Hill ... Frank
Louis C.K. ... Greg
Jeffrey Tambor ... Anthony
Fionnula Flanagan ... Martha Bellison
Rob Lowe ... Brad Kessler
Tina Fey ... Shelley
Donna Sorbello Donna Sorbello ... Anna's Mother
Stephanie March ... Blonde
Ruben Santiago-Hudson ... Landlord
John Hodgman ... Wedding Overseer
Nate Corddry ... News Reporter
Jimmi Simpson ... Bob
Martin Starr ... Waiter #1
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

In a world where everyone can only tell the truth... ...this guy can lie. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site | Ricky Gervais - Blog | See more »

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 October 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

This Side of the Truth See more »

Filming Locations:

Boston, Massachusetts, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$18,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,027,472, 4 October 2009, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$18,439,082, 13 December 2009
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The screenplay for this film was featured in the 2007 Blacklist; a list of the "most liked" unmade scripts of the year. See more »

Goofs

Just because you can't lie doesn't mean you have to express what you're thinking all the time, which some people in the movie do. See more »

Quotes

Brad Kessler: Shelley thinks you're an overweight homosexual.
Shelley: I didn't say that!
Mark Bellison: [relieved] Oh.
Shelley: No, I said you were a fat faggot.
Brad Kessler: [to Shelley] I stand corrected.
Mark Bellison: To think I was upset by "overweight homosexual".
Shelley: A fatty fat faggy fag...
Brad Kessler: [to Mark] Oh, well. It doesn't matter. Because either way you're a dumpy little queer.
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Connections

Referenced in Life's Too Short: Episode #1.7 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Give A Little Bit
(1977)
Written by Roger Hodgson and Rick Davies (as Richard Davies)
Performed by Supertramp
Courtesy of A&M Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Charmingly Clever
23 October 2009 | by Marie-JeanneSee 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.


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