In a world where falsehood is unknown, a luckless writer (Ricky Gervais) develops the ability to lie and uses his newfound skill for personal gain.
" That a great comic idea does not necessarily make for a great screen comedy is the lesson for first-time writer-director-star Ricky Gervais as he comes unstuck. "
" The small-town Massachusetts settings are certainly fresh, and some of the involuntary confessions are fun. But, all in all, ita(TM)s not a great comedy. And thata(TM)s no lie. "
" There are cycles of inspiration and rebirth, but the barbed promise of the early going loses its way in choices aimed at sentimentality rather than, as Harvey Kurtzman memorably put it, humor in a jugular vein. "
" The romantic plot, involving his unrequited loved for Garner, is soured by her character's unconcealed shallowness. "
" Mr. Gervais's long-established gift for small-screen comedy goes terribly slack, leaving him likable, as always, but, on the big screen, looking lost. "
" It would be such a joy to bend the truth and say that The Invention of Lying lives up to the potential of its inspired premise. "
" There's no hope that Gervais' performance in The Invention of Lying will open up new hope for a different kind of leading man -- and that's what makes his resoluteness so great. "
" The last third of the movie is as bad as anything I've seen this year, with the laughs trailing off, and half of the supporting characters, the zestier ones, being airbrushed from the frame. "
" The movie never surpasses the gleeful hilarity of the first 25 minutes, when it allows us to imagine just how crushing and soulless this nakedly Darwinian universe would be. "
" To tell the truth, The Invention of Lying is a funny movie that fails to deliver on its first-half potential. "
" It's bogged down in too many squishy romantic-comedy pieties. "
" The result is an erratically funny but often frustrating comedy, with an interesting premise hobbled by internal inconsistencies and uneven writing. "
" Despite the ambitious scope of its premise, this confounding, disappointing and, in the end, depressing movie is content to devote 80 percent of its screen time to wondering who gets to kiss the girl. "
" Marketed as a romantic comedy, The Invention of Lying turns out to be a dour, shouty atheist manifesto. "
" The movie is smart and silly. "
" I think the first half hour would be almost impossible to sustain because it is so inspired. "
" There's no doubting that this is one comic who can really act. But maybe Gervais should leave the directing to someone who knows how to tell funny stories on film, if such a talent can be found these days. "
" By adhering to the romantic-comedy formula, The Invention of Lying stops short of being truly inventive. But enough sequences are fresh and inspired to make this a comedy honestly worth catching. "
" [It] does have its moments -- most of them courtesy of Gervais and his very specific brand of self-deprecating, always equivocating comedy -- just not nearly enough of them. "
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