Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Invention of Lying - Movie Review



Here's another movie we loved (me and the Mrs.) of course the Mrs. is a huge Jennifer Garner fan. Jennifer is sort of the anti-Hollywood starlight. Well at least she's not wearing an ankle bracelet like poor Lindsey (nice job Mom). And I think she is cast beautifully and perhaps the only one who could have pulled off this role.

Starring Ricky Gervais this little gem turns the notion of lying on its head and portrays a world were everyone is 100 percent honest. This is a great foundation for laughs and makes a subtle play on our relationships to each other and how we interact. Johna Hill has a supporting part as well as Rob Lowe who turns in a fun performance as a foil to Ricky Gervais's character. There are cameo's by Tina Fey, Jason Bateman, Phillip Seymour-Hoffman, and Edward Norton all which are pretty funny and some out of character from their typical work.

I do mean to emphasis subtle because while the premise is overblown to make a point as well as the immediate portrayal of the characters it is the acting, the delivery of lines, and the unexpected turn of events that hold your interest while you are being thoroughly amused by the window dressing shallowness of it all. There are some sly little moments that take you a little deeper than you thought you were going. That's good writing and good acting even if the characters appear to be be parodies and caricatures of themselves. Can you see where this movie is going - lying is wrong - are you so sure?

Anyway food for thought but the handeling of the premise and the evolution of the story is terrific and downright necessaary as it allows for an "honest" exploration of some of our assumptions about everything from relationships to religion. The Invention of Lying does all of this with a calm unforced panache that is amusing, light, fun, heartfelt and godsmack on point.

Go ahead and pull the trigger on this netflix rental - you'll be glad you did. What a refreshing turn from all the gun, car chase, profanity and violcence laced chum hollywood consistently pours into our collective consciousness.

Four stars - fun subtle acting with aplomb, lighthearted farce and heart felt conviction. This is a good one.

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