On the face of things, The Invention Of Lying is just another average movie, not worth another thought after being watched. However, when the credits began rolling and I saw that this was written and directed by the star, Ricky Gervais, it ended up disappointing me on a whole other level.
Ricky Gervais is a considerable talent. His stand-up is good and in The Office and Extras, he is responsible for two of the best comedic television shows of the 00s. So why does The Invention Of Lying fall so short of those standards? Does Gervais need Stephen Merchant to keep his writing in check? Gervais' delivery helped elevate some of the lines from absolutely pointless to mildly amusing, but when he wrote those lines in the first place there is a problem. His performance is decent, but only that, and he has yet to show he can carry a feature-length film.
An another, slightly pedantic note, although the setting is a world where people cannot lie, the way this is presented just bugs me. It's premised on no one ever lying, so they constantly say things like 'You're fat and ugly' which is entirely different to not lying-it's actually speaking your mind unprompted-which they don't bother addressing at all. Its distracting and totally drew me out of the movie. Ultimately I'm not sure this would make a good sketch, never mind a whole film. One to avoid.