On a blazing nuts hot Sunday in Iowa, there isn't much to do except nap and watch movies. I went to turn on the television when I stumbled upon the Invention of Lying. So, I gave it a shot.
Most movies like this begin with a plan in my mind: will I nap through the movie and catch the ending, will I watch the whole movie delaying a nap till after, or will I just say screw it and play some video games? This movie fell into the: "delayed nap" category.
The story begins with Mark Bellison (played by Ricky Gervais) living a fairly boring and mundane life where he is a writer for Lecture Films. In this world, people crave information, and blockbuster movies are simply true facts narrated by some old dude. Mark Bellison pretty much gets slammed by everyone around him. He constantly hears how he is fat, has a stout nose, and is pretty much a loser in his daily life (words I hear on a daily basis from The H-Bomb...KIDDING). Gervais is pretty funny throughout these slams, his reactions and under the breath comments kept me entertained during this part of the film. Half way through, Jennifer Garner's character is introduced (Anna) when the two go on a date. I have to say Garner's performance is well...meh. She was trying to go for a Stepford Wives robotic/judgmental thing about Gervais's personality/gene composition, but was off the mark. She tried to be funny with the role, but Gervais's humor was dwarfed by her utter annoyance.
At this point, the movie makes a bizarre turn to the stupid. He makes up a story about the afterlife and The man in the sky to his dying mom and everyone is in awe of this, including a cameo from Jason Bateman. The movie becomes about the man in the sky and shifts back to a love story between Gervais and Garner. Pretty lame 2nd half of a movie in my opinion.
So, here is what is wrong with movies like this. A) NEVER CAST JENNIFER GARNER. This is a common mistake made by many movies. Please acknowledge this rule in future films please. The 13 going on 30 cute girl thing is over...and she isn't a girl but a dude in girl disguise (she is more than meets the eye you would say...had to get a transformer transvestite plug in here).
Fatal flaw B) Stop introducing funny characters and barely giving them screen time. Rob Lowe and Jonah Hill were completely wasted in this movie. You have two really funny characters that added nothing to this movie.
Fatal flaw C) Don't let people with ADD write movies. There is a reason TRANSFORMERS 2 sucked nuts...MICHAEL BAY has ADD. He feels the need to put in Baysplosions and huge hootered women for no reason. The plot fails. This movie was flawed with the same annoyances minus the hooters/explosions. The plot jumped around from being a comedy to a serious statement about our existence. Choose one or the other please, don't loose comedic elements and go serious on us if you can't balance plot points. Movies like Stranger Than Fiction can pull this off due to a phenomenal cast surrounding Will Ferrell (AKA Emma Thompson and Dustin Hoffman), as well as writers that balance character life events. The combo of Garner (the AIDS of Actresses) and ADD plot points pretty much had me annoyed. When the movie was over, I wish I would have taken that nap. So, when you go to see The Invention of Lying...you will inevitably rethink the title to The Invention of Crying being as how your time is gone and you will never get it back.