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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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4,750 ( 162)
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

Ricky Gervais's motion picture directing debut. See more »

Goofs

The world depicted in the movie uses the same dating system as we do (1300s, 1812, etcetera), and remembers the same historical events such as the Black Plague and NapolĂ©on Bonaparte. These two things don't wash. First, since there is no concept of God, and therefore no Jesus Christ, what are the years counting from? Second, the histories of the Black Plague and Napoleon were replete with lying and religion (which were instrumental in Napoleon's rise to power), and without those things these events could not have happened in a remotely similar way. See more »

Quotes

Anna McDoogles: [with an epiphany] I've finally decided what I want!
Mark Bellison: [expecting the worst] And what is that?
Anna McDoogles: I want short fat kids with snub noses!
Mark Bellison: I'm your man.
[Mark smiles; they kiss]
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Connections

Referenced in An Idiot Abroad: Whale Watching (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Beer Rally
Courtesy of Killer Tracks
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Good vehicle for (and by) Gervais
11 August 2010 | by delibebekSee 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.


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