The Invention of Lying

  • 12
  • Ricky Gervais, Matthew Robinson (2009)
  • US / UK
  • 95 min
Film Review
Reviewed By
3 out of 5

Following the lukewarm reception for Ghost Town in 2008, Ricky Gervais applies his low-key brand of comedy to another high-concept Hollywood movie, only this time he co-writes and co-directs for the first time. The award-winning comedian stars as mild-mannered scriptwriter Mark Bellison, whose life trundles along in a world where lying has not yet been invented. However, people are not only unable to lie, they suffer from verbal diarrhoea, too. This allows for a stream of easy gags - Mark's date with love interest Anna (Jennifer Garner) is a masterclass in excruciating embarrassment - which start to pile up until the moment when Mark's new-found ability to spin a yarn elevates him to godlike status. The story is rather convoluted, but Gervais carries the film with apt assuredness and, as co-director, he allows a great supporting cast (including Rob Lowe, Tina Fey and Jonah Hill) to shine. It's not on the same level as TV gems like The Office or Extras, but it does provide some hilarious - and at times satirical - comic moments.

Plot Summary

Comedy co-written, co-directed by and starring Ricky Gervais, and also starring Jennifer Garner. In a world where everyone is 100 per cent honest, Mark Bellison's brief moment of being economical with the truth turns him into something of a prophet. But will Mark's newfound celebrity status be enough to win the girl of his dreams?

Cast and crew


Mark Bellison
Ricky Gervais
Anna McDoogles
Jennifer Garner
Jonah Hill
Louis CK
Jeffrey Tambor
Martha Bellison
Fionnula Flanagan
Brad Kessler
Rob Lowe
Tina Fey
Jason Bateman
Nathan Goldfrappe
Christopher Guest
Jim the bartender
Philip Seymour Hoffman
Edward Norton
Richard Bellison
Shaun Williamson
Man at the door
Stephen Merchant


Ricky Gervais
Matthew Robinson

Other Information

Theatrical distributor: 
Swearing, sexual references.
Available on DVD and BluRay
Released 2 Oct 2009
Certificate 12

Add new comment