Monday, October 5, 2009

"The Invention Of Lying" - good movie

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?


Harper said...

Looking forward to seeing the movie, I was going to insert a woe-be-me statement about only getting to see kid's movies, but upon reflection, realized that 'Up!' was the best movie I have seen in quite awhile, even having seen it with four kids in tow.

But I digress. What I mean to comment about is the parenting parallels. I can't begin to tell you the pain and distrust in my oldest daughter's eyes the day that the jolly Christmas guy secret was exposed (trying to prevent an innocent child's Google search from landing them here). When she stopped and thought about it, questioning the one who brings colored eggs and candy, the one who takes teeth for money, et al, her dismay was firmly rooted in the understanding/realization that the entire world, especially those that she loved and trusted, had been fooling her. It is hard to fathom, a lie that everyone buys into and perpetuates on your behalf.

A world of only truth? A part of me thinks it would be wonderful. But, just as a child has years of happiness and excitement over contrived empty might our lives be if we really did know it all? If this really is all there is, with no eternal life to look forward to or eternal damnation to wish upon someone - what are we working so hard for?

The Whited Sepulchre said...

Hey, there might be an Invisible Man In The Sky. And it could be that he created everything, and set up a perfect system that fell apart when a snake convinced someone to eat forbidden fruit, and then Man In Sky almost destroyed us with a flood, and then he confused us when we got uppity by giving us all different languages, and then he invented a sacrificial system, where if you did something bad, you killed a goat or a pigeon to make up for it. It could've happened.

And it could be that none of that worked out very well, so The Invisible Man In The Sky revealed (for the first time in centuries !)that he had a son who was really him, and the son became the sacrifice to himself/invisible man in sky, etc., to make everything ok again.
Then the Invisible Man In The Sky revealed (for the first time in centuries!) that he wasn't just a duo, but a Trinity, and was 3 people in one.

The new system was that if you believed that the son died to make everything ok, you went to the Happy Place forever. If you don't believe this obviously logical story, The Invisible Man In The Sky will torture you forever.

Because of this, our purpose in life, the thing we're supposed to be "working so hard for", is to tell other people this story, and persuade them that it's true.

Let me know how it works out for you, Harper ! !

Cedric Katesby said...

Ricky Gervais?
Great actor.
I'm sure you've seen his famous Creation sketch but for the benefit of the lurkers, here's the link to it.

Plus, for bonus points, there's a brilliant Irish stand-up comic called Dara O'Briain that you might like.

jaze said...

The invention of lying movie was great movie I could see in recently. Though I have watched some movies of Ricky Gravis he never exposed his marvelous talents till The invention of lying movie. Matthew Robinson also done fantastic job. He depicted that deep emotional pain in very sensitive way. Though he made us laughed in first few minutes he changed his plot in to another religion and romantic side. But entire movie is marvelous.
I love Anna character in The invention of lying movie. That character portraying by Jennifer Garner who is my favorite actress. Her innocent face, charm look and glamorous dresses well matched to truthful world which showed by movie. Normally she looks like hot chik but in this movie her face was so innocent. I ca not forget 24 TV series.