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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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Popularity
4,056 ( 69)
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,.....he's just invented the 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
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

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

Goofs

When Greg and Mark are being pulled over by the motorcycle cop, the rearward shot clearly shows that they are on a 4 lane street with buildings on each side, and he stops in the left lane near the center line. But in the remainder of the scene they are stopped in the right lane of a long bridge. Also, the lights on the police motorcycle are still flashing as the officer walks up to confront the driver of the car. Later in the scene, the lights on the motorcycle are not on anymore. See more »

Quotes

Anna McDoogles: I was just masturbating.
Mark Bellison: That makes me think of your vagina.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The 67th Annual Golden Globe Awards (2010) 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

 
constantly funny it may not be, but clever it is
4 October 2009 | by marc_dambrosioSee all my reviews

There is a certain re-training of the mind that a film expects of us in order to fully enjoy the place it seeks to take us. This film, in the first act we are taught, in a rather funny way that the world of this film is to say the least - honest. Everyone coldly delivers, whether asked or not - exactly what is on their mind. It takes a good 1/4 of the film to fully understand exactly the world where there is no opposite to truth. And those moments are worth the price of admission alone.

As a viewer I enjoyed the random interactions that a world where truth is embedded in the framework of all social interaction. With no deviation.

By the time Gervais comes across the knowledge that an alternate way of communication exists in "saying what wasn't" we embark on a tale of a man who essentially won the "lying Lottery".

The humour is subtle, the contrast of religious themes are not so, and that may have been the weakest of elements in the film. Sadly those who think there is a single element of disrespect towards religion from within the world of the film are I believe incorrect. While religious digs may have been the impetus for the films creation, from within the film, Mark's character seems to make a clear delineation between an evil lie and a white lie. And his character never seems comfortable for too long with a lie that affects the lives of many.

The film does have a one of the more sweet and quietly powerful scenes where Mark creates an alternate afterlife for his mother. Because I don't view this film through a filter of religious expectation I found this scene to be simply powerful and poignant.

I enjoyed it, as did my partner. We talked the whole way home, and recreated some of the laughs on the way to the car. That is not a lie.


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