PLOT SUMMARY: In a parallel earth where people are incapable of lying, one man invents the act, and uses it for his own personal gain.
LIMERICK REVIEW: There once was a loser named Mark,
who’s life was no amusement park.
His love life was awry
until he learned to lie–
And a bland society was imbued by his spark.
HAIKU REVIEW: The truth often hurts;
Lies make the world operate.
UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): [highlight for spoilers]→ To bed superficial woman, man destroys honesty of entire species.
PEOPLE: Written, directed, and starring Ricky Gervais, original creator of The Office. Also starring Jennifer Garner (Juno, Daredevil, Electra, Alias). With Jonah Hill (Funny People, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Walk Hard, Superbad, Knocked Up, Click, Grandma’s Boy, 40 Year Old Virgin, I Heart Huckabees), Louis C.K. (SNL, Role Models), Jeffrey Tambor (Hank Kingsley from Larry Sanders, Arrested Development, Max Headroom:20 Minutes Into The Future), Rob Lowe (Wayne’s World, West Wing), Tina Fey (30 Rock, Mean Girls, Ponyo On The Cliff By The Sea).
QUIRKS: The whole movie is a huge quirk — a parallel earth where nobody lies. The way things operate in this alternate reality is nothing short of brilliantly hilarious. Not only are people incapable of lying, but they are in general incapable of making ANYTHING up. There is no fiction, no fantasy. The world goes around, but many things are worse for the fact that nobody lies.
MORALS: The moral of the story seems to be that lies help make the world go around. This is a very subversive moral!
POLITICS: Religion is what happens when people get together in groups, willing to listen to someone else’s lies. This movie is extremely subversive, religiously. Once someone develops the ability to lie — just tell people something happens when they die. They will surround you in droves, hanging off your every word. Who can resist being a Prophet?
BAD STUFF: It is based on a romance — and Jennifer Garner is a superficial bitch. Granted, she’s just being honest about the way most people work, as most people are superficial. Self included. But such brutal honestly simply can’t come off as anything but bitchy. The main conflict of the story is Ricky Gervais trying to make himself in the “same league” as Jennifer Garner, which, due to his looks, social status, and income, can only be done via attaining fantastic power. And in a world where no one lies, such power is quite easy to gain. I wish I could teleport to this alternate earth and live there instead.
CONCLUSION: An awesomely surreal alternate earth, and an incredibly subversive message, morally and politically. Lies make the world go around, the world would be worse without them, and religion is just what happens when a bunch of people who are willing to listen to liars do so. Romantic subplot aside, I thought this movie brought up singularly unique situations. Like Liar Liar if the entire planet had to act like Jim Carrey did.
Carolyn: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 8/10. “Deep, lighthearted, nice take on religion & the sky fairies. Wasn’t as comedic as I was expecting. There was a lot of romance to it, but it was more than a romantic comedy.” (My counterpoint is that I found the whole thing extremely comedic.)
RECOMMENDATION: A must-see comedy! It says a lot about honesty, people, relationships, and even religion. More importantly, it’s an eye-opening look at how things might operate if lying didn’t exist.
SIMILAR MOVIES: Liar Liar?
MOVIE QUOTE: “Anna McDoogles: I was just masturbating.”
Mark Bellison: “That… makes me think of your vagina.”
Music: Bunnygrunt – Silly Girl (by The Descendents)