I saw the Ricky Gervais movie "The Invention Of Lying" last night. It's a good one.
Imagine a world where everyone tells the truth. The words "truth" and "lie" don't seem to have been invented.
Next, imagine a short, dumpy guy like Gervais showing up for his first date with Jennifer Garner. The truth-telling that follows is hilarious.
Gervais plays a screenwriter assigned to write about the 13th century. (Remember, "fiction" is an unknown concept to these people, so the only books and movies are about history. Actors are pretending, and therefore they're liars. That's why there are no actors in the movies the Gervais character writes.) Everyone tells the cold, hard truth, regardless of the consequences.
Ricky's mother is dying in a nursing home, and she states that she's scared of disappearing into a meaningless non-existence. Ricky wants to ease her pain, and fumbling for a way to comfort her, he tells his mom that she's going on to another world, a painless world where she'll see all her friends again, and she'll always be happy.
Word spreads about this new world. People want to know more. Ricky invents an Invisible Man In The Sky. People want to know more. Ricky says the Invisible Man In The Sky speaks to him. People want to know more. Ricky brings down the Ten Commandments taped to some Pizza Hut boxes (I'll add them to this post as soon as I can find them online....)
When Gervais is explaining that The Invisible Man In The Sky causes everything to happen, a brilliant "Why do bad things happen to good people>" conversation takes place. Ricky's response is the same as every honest theologian's answer : "Hell if I know. You figure it out."
That's all I can tell without going into total spoiler mode.
Most reviews are labeling this movie as a sacreligious diatribe. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has already rated "The Invention of Lying" as "O - morally offensive".
Not so. "The Invention Of Lying" asks most of the big questions, and makes you laugh at your inability to answer them.
You may claim that you've never doubted the existence, or nature, of God. You might even claim that everyone who disagress with you about God's nature is going to be tortured forever. But what if you lived in a world where you had to tell the truth?