GREEN'S CHUBBY, SNUB-NOSED REVIEW:
What would the world be like if no one knew how to tell a lie or even what a lie was? That's the world that Mark Bellison (Ricky Gervais) lives in. It's also a world where people are brutally honest about everything and where the world of movies and television show nothing but documentaries and bland commercials.
What do you do when you're also an unsuccessful, dumpy looking documentary screenwriter about to get fired, evicted and go on a date with Anna (Jennifer Garner)a woman on whom you've had a crush since before you can remember but who is totally out of your league - how do you change your life? What would you change if you could?
In a desperate situation, Mark comes up with the world's first lie and uses it to change the course of his life, but will he change it for the better?
There are many reasons why I liked this movie. First of all, the concept for the film is absolutely brilliant and as far as I can tell, totally original. Writers Ricky Gervais and Matthew Robinson have come up with a script that is nearly perfect.
Second, I've been a fan of Jennifer Garner for nearly ten years, as those of you who are regular readers here know.
Third, the movie is filmed in Massachusetts, mainly Lowell and Sudbury (near the end), in areas that I grew up near and have a level of familiarity with. And finally, the last part of the movie was filmed in the chapel where I got married once upon a lifetime ago (and is Jennifer Garner's second movie using that location.)
If those aren't enough reasons, the casting is excellent, from the main actors down through the cast. Each actor does a great job of deadpanning their individual performances.
Gervais and Robinson have no previous feature film directing credit. This is the first credit of any kind for Robinson, Gervais does have some experience directing television shows, which to an extent serves him well here. Because the writer/director tandem are the same, they know their material well and know what they are looking for and get the most out of their actors. I thought the cameos by Tina Fey, Jason Bateman and Philip Seymour Hoffman were excellent.
The DVD extras were good, overall. The 'making of' featurette was well done as were the included outtakes & additional scenes. I thought the Prequel featurette was dumb and overdone and the bit about Karl Pilkington was a waste of disc space.
This was a movie that I wanted to see in its theatrical run but never got around to. I think this movie was a worthwhile addition to my DVD library and is definitely worth your time as a rental.
**** out of *****
The Invention of Lying (2009, PG-13, 99 minutes), starring Ricky Gervais, Jennifer Garner, Louis C.K., Jonah Hill and Rob Lowe. Written and Directed by Ricky Gervais and Matthew Robinson.