Tuesday, September 29, 2009

What Was Needed Was The Invention Of A Better Movie

Comedies have one simple rule, to work they need to make us laugh. It is a simple rule and with some of today's talented writers should be easy, it is not an easy thing to do, humor is a hard thing to make work, it is something that can be as simple as walking into a pole or a joke so dirty that you can't help but laugh. In the new comedy "The Invention Of Lying" there are simple not enough jokes to garner the accolades this movie believes it deserves. the one thing that I found the funniest, was the name of the senior citizens home. A Sad Place For Hopeless Old People.

Mark Bellison (Ricky Gervais) is down on his luck but believes that things can't get any worse, so he is excited about his upcoming date with Anna McDoogles (Jennifer Garner), she immediately shoots him down. This is normal because the story takes place in an alternate world where no one can lie, every truth is point blank and as blunt as can be. The date goes as expected and is over before it actually starts, Anna is a shallow person who is looking for a man with the best genes so that her kids will be better than the other kids. Mark has a job as a script writer - why didn't he write a better script here? His job is boring and dull, he writes about the thirteenth century, and the black plague isn't something people want to go to the movies for. A neighbor, Frank (Jonah Hill) is trying to kill himself and is looking for clever ways to do it. His isn't the only crass character in the movie, there is Marks boss, Anthony (Jeffrey Tambor) is working up the courage to fire him, his secretary Shelley (Tina Fey), is a callous bore, the star of the department, Brad Kessler (Rob Lowe) is obnoxious as well as creepy. The day he is actually fired comes and when he gets home his landlord demands the rent which Mark doesn't have, he is told to get out. Mark goes to the bank and is told the system is down, but they can still help him he says he needs eight hundred dollars. The only thing is, Mark only has three hundred in his account. The teller believes him and gives him the eight hundred dollars.

Not fully understanding what he just did, Mark goes to a bar where a friend is drinking, the bartender is a well known star making one of the movies two best cameos. The second of the two best cameo's, is the police officer that pulls Greg and Mark over. The friend, Greg (Louis C.K.) tells Mark that if he could lie he would go find women and have sex with them, Mark tries this, telling the woman that the world is about to end unless they have sex. Yes this is the extent of this movies jokes. Trashy dirty bombs. Mark can't go through with this and goes back to the bar, he decides that going to a casino and telling them that he has won a huge jackpot is alright, it seems that greed is be a better sin than perversion. Mark's mother Martha (Fionnula Flanagan) is in the nursing home and on the day she dies, Mark tells her that the place she is going is beautiful that she will get a mansion in the sky and she will be young again and every one that has already passed will be there to meet her. There are other Catholic jokes in the movie, where Mark, fed up with his life refuses to shave and when Anna comes to his Mansion he looks like Jesus. Contrite but not funny. Martha's Doctor (Jason Bateman) is so enraptured with this news he asks Mark to tell them .

When people here about what Mark told his mother they camp out in front of his apartment, Anna convinces Mark that he has to tell the world what he knows and he makes up a Man In The Sky, he says if you do wrong you won't get into this beautiful place. Mark gets famous and is able to live a better life, but he is unhappy because he can't get a very shallow Anna to fall in love with him. But have no fear, the Hollywood cliche machine won't let that happen and of course at the wedding of Anna and the best gene pool available to her Mark tells her that she really doesn't want to marry Brad. Anna and Mark end up married, happy and with a son with a pudgy nose. You will have to sit through about twenty minutes of this boring movie to understand the pudgy nose line.

I give The Invention Of Lying a 2 and on my avoidance scale I give it a 1, don't waste your time going to see this movie, it is dull unfunny and plain obnoxious, the two cameos in the movie and the name of the senior citizens home are the only funny things this movie has to offer, Ricky Gervais splits writing and directing duties with Matthew Robinson, maybe he should have stuck with one or the other, Gervais can be included in the short list of funny English stand up comedians, but somewhere along the line he lost his edge when he moved on to films. Gervais almost seems too tight and withdrawn, that's to bad, the teaser trailers make this movie look funny as all heck.

The Invention Of Lying is rated PG-13 for Language Including some Sexual Material and a Drug Reference
Running time is 1 hr. 39 mins.

No comments: