The Invention of Lying – a movie of surprisingly little controversy

By: Corey Lack

the invention of lying

The Invention of Lying was a movie released in 2009 and starred Ricky Gervais, Jennifer Garner, Rob Lowe, and others. It took place in a version of Earth where the very concept of lying in all forms was never created. For clarification, this means that people tell the truth and only the truth, no matter the situation, no matter how much it might hurt the other person. In this same universe, Mark Bellison, a screenwriter in a version of the film industry that is limited only to historical readings, finds himself losing his job, girlfriend, and potentially his apartment all in the span of two days. Visiting a bank, Mark finds out the system is down and the clerk asks him how much money he has left in his account. It is at this moment that Mark comes to a realization and tells the world’s first lie. From there, his entire life turns around as he pays his rent and gets his job back with a fictional story he made up. Through a series of events, he gains even more fame and fortune when he invents the concept of Heaven, an afterlife, and God when he lies to make his dying mother feel better.


It is the later parts of the movie that I am surprised there wasn’t more controversy about this movie even back in 2009 when people already seemed to be constantly looking for ways to take offence. It shocked me that no one had an issue with the man who created the very idea of lying also invented the concept of religion and Christianity. Perhaps I’m reading more into it than other people did, but it was a pleasant, if unexpected surprise.


The premise for the movie was certainly a unique one. The idea of a world without lying and Mark’s creation of lying had a lot of potential especially for a comedy movie. For the most part, the movie achieved what it promised as it was a fun and comedic movie. It wasn’t, by any means, the funniest movie I’d seen and it focused on the romantic aspects a lot more than I would have preferred. That said, it was still an interesting enough movie that I’d suggest giving it a watch. I’d give it 7 pizza box tablets out of 10.

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lackcb View All →

I am a graduate student at Northern Kentucky University. I like writing fantasy and science fiction, playing video games, and watching movies.

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