All English Vinny  

[Film] The Invention of Lying

Would it be better if we live in a world where lies don’t exist since people never know HOW to do it?


This is the introduction given on the movie opening followed with the credit title. “The credit that no one cares about,” said the narration, confirming the fact that most of us left the seat when the screen goes black, not giving any care for the credit title.  I do that, most of the time sometimes.

I often think that I am a typical person who is a loser when it comes to lying. I judge myself as a pretty honest people because saying the untruth is goddamn difficult. Covering the lie with the right words, moving the eyes without people noticing you are showing a fear how they will reveal the truth, and all the stuffs you have to crawl in once you do lie, are way too much to bear. That is why I prefer to be honest risking all the possibility rather than lying for with the worse probability.

Then I watched this movie, which gave such a different perception about lying.

Mark Bellison (Ricky Gervais), a lecture-film writer, was forced to face a hard time of his life. He’s about to get fired, his old mom’s health is getting worse, his landlord is going to evict him for he can’t afford to pay the rent, let alone his date doesn’t give him a chance to have a second date after the failed first date. All things come at once.

Standing on the edge of being kicked out from his room makes Mark has to close his bank account. He goes to the bank, asking for the money left, but turns out the bank system is down at the moment. The teller asks him how much money he has. Something sneaks in to his mind once he is asked the question. He saw a chance for not telling the truth about the money. Few seconds later, he confidently answer the teller “800$. I have 800$”. Without asking more, the teller hands him 800 dollars. Now he gets enough money to pay the landlord. His first lie gives him 500 more dollars from his real money which saves his life, and changes his whole life later on.

The rest of the story pictures how Mark then uses the capability for not telling the truth. Having no idea about what he can do with lying, he asks a pretty girl for sex by telling her “The world’s gonna end unless we have sex right now!” The girl surely believes in what Mark said and willing to do what he said though Mark alone is afraid of doing so. Then tells the girl another lie that NASA just told him that the world’s not gonna end nothing’s happened. (will you do so, Men?)

The next thing Mark does with lying has helped many people. He tells his desperate colleague that many people is caring for him (that’s why he shouldn’t do suicide), that everything is going to be okay. When his old mom is terribly scared of facing the death, Mark tells her that the afterlife isn’t the eternity of nothingness. It is the best place that gives you eternal happiness instead. Hearing the words, Mark’s mom sleeps in peace and greets her afterlife in smile.

Though Mark changes many bad things into good for lying, there are also some few things where he can’t lie. It is about the feeling he has to Anna McDoogles (Jennifer Gerner) who he likes so much. The choice to be honest when it comes to feeling eventually makes Anna falls for Mark, a man he dislike for not being physically attractive and potentially will give him “fat kids with snub noses”. The desire to be honest when it comes to feeling eventually changes Anna’s point of few for seeing what’s beyond the physical things.  How outer look does not define anything.

The end of the movie might be predictable. However, I still find this movie has given me many insights about the moment when you have to stand between honesty and lie.

Sometimes you have to lie to save other’s life.
But when it comes to your own life, being honest to you yourself might be a better choice.
Last but not least,
Be honest while you can.


The Invention of Lying
Release : 2009
Genre : fantasy comedy romantic
Director : Ricky Gervais, Matthew Robinson.
Casts : Jennifer Garner, Jonah Hill, Louis C.K., Rob Lowe, Tina Fey

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