The Invention of Lying: A Review

The gist of this movie is that the greatest lie ever told to man is the existence of God. The fictional movie also exists in a world where everyone always tells the truth, no matter how bold or harsh. No one, in this movie, even knows what a lie is–hence the name of the movie. The Gervais’ character discovers the idea of lying in another scene, and he realizes that it makes life much easier for him in some ways. In another scene, his mother is dying, and she is fearful and desperate. She believes that she will face an eternity of nothingness following her death. In a desperate attempt to soothe her, Gervais’ character invents a place of mansions and happiness (heaven). The doctor and nurses overhear this, and they are intrigued. Word gets out that Gervais’ character has received information about an after-life. He is pursued for this information, and he invents a man in the sky (God). The people are irrationally soothed by Gervais’ character’s ideas. There are no counterpoints to Gervais’ character’s claims in the movie, and there is no counterpoint of enlightenment. The character merely claims at the end that he invented the whole thing.

I feel it’s my duty to inform you that this is not a chick flick, and it’s average. It is not as good as Gervais’ other movie Ghost Town, and it’s not as good as his shows Extras and The Office. The aspect about the ‘lie of God’s existence’ is not listed on the back jacket of the movie, and it’s not in any of the promos I saw. It caught me off guard. Now that you know, feel free to rent, buy, or download if this is your thing.

As to the counterpoint, it would’ve been nice to see some commentary about the other side. Example: While some believe in the existence of a man in the sky, others believe the sky is falling (i.e. Global Warming). While some believe that a bum on the streets is always a victim of circumstance, others believe most of them are there as a result of some form of self-indulgence. While some believe in the mythical assistance men in the leadership roles of government can provide to humanity, others believe that the key to success and happiness in life is through self-sufficiency.

It may have been difficult to fit such counterpoints into the plot, without being too preachy, but the writers of this movie could’ve done it.  They wouldn’t have had to devote huge chunks of dialogue to it, or numerous exchanges, to satisfy the other side.  They could’ve had one scene, or one simple piece of dialogue that questioned the other side.   They could’ve said something along the lines of “a man in Washington spear-headed a movement to attempt to curtail human indulgence, so he got together with his other buddies, and they invented something called Global Warming/Climate Change/Climate Disruption.”  They could’ve written that this attempt to shame human indulgence is equivalent to the definitions employed by individuals of Biblical times that believed that indulging in pursuits that God didn’t approve of, would result in a damaged harvest for the year.  They could’ve written some form of dialogue that suggested that shaming people into acting a particular way is as endemic to the human being as indulging is, and in this particular case (in the movie) the man in Washington was so upset by his unsuccessful bid to become president that he decided that he needed a legacy, so he latched onto an idea that stated that our Capitalism-run-amok form of   indulgence is causing a catastrophe of epic proportions.  They could’ve then concluded that this man’s legacy is now one of self-indulgence based on attempting to curtail indulgence, until he built an ostentatious, and indulgent home, and lavished in the riches his principled stand afforded him, until, like King Midas, everything he touched turned into gold, and his vain sermons on self-indulgence become a method to feed his own need for further indulgences.

This writers of this movie could’ve then had the people of the world irrationally worship the man in Washington, until a Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to him, and the writers could’ve had this man avoid any dissent and debate with some wild declaration along the lines of “all the science is in.  This catastrophe is happening.”  The writers could’ve had irrational exuberance occurring on both sides, but I’m sure they didn’t want to offend anyone.

I Don’t Mind the Loss of Freedom

I didn’t mind it when they went after the military. Military men are usually jarhead brutes with a penchant for killing.

I didn’t mind it when they went after religious people. I think religion is too pervasive in our society, and I think religion is the opiate of the masses.

I didn’t mind it when they went after guns. There are too many people getting killed by guns.

I didn’t mind it when they went smokers. I could probably cut down a little on smoking.

I didn’t mind it when they went after corporations. I hate those greedy sobs.

I didn’t mind it when they went after rich people. I’m not rich, and it’s about time we stuck it to those people.

When they taxed me more, I figured it was going to a good cause, and I wouldn’t miss it anyway. I didn’t mind that.

When they used Eminent Domain to take the homes of the Eastside residents away, I didn’t mind it. Those people were slobs. You should’ve seen the way they lived.

When they outlawed trans fats, I thought that was a good idea. There’s a ton of fat people around here.

When they cracked down on the police, I thought that was a good idea. The police get a little out of control at times.

When they imposed lower emission standards on companies, I thought that was a good idea. I like breathing clean air.

When they increased CAFE standards on cars, I thought that was a good idea. I like getting extra miles per gallon in my car.

When it took me forty-five minutes to get passed airport security checks, I thought that was a good idea. We need to stop terrorism even if it means I have to use hotel shampoo.

When they spoke about adding a tax to the internet, I thought that was a good idea to help bring down the national debt.

When they outlawed intense interrogations, I felt good about that. We need to let the world know that we’re a law abiding nation.

When they spoke about outlawing companies going to foreign countries for cheaper labor, I cheered. Those greedy fat cats in those companies need to give Americans jobs.

When my bank decided to charge me an extra dollar for what they called, “foreign ATM fees” I just about had it. Can you imagine the audacity of these people? The greedy bastards claimed that it was a “business related” expense that they needed to charge me to remain competitive in the marketplace. I ripped my money right out of there and searched my state to find a bank that wouldn’t charge me the extra dollar. Money is freedom as far as I’m concerned, and I wasn’t about to allow those fat cats to steal my freedom.