Friday, October 9, 2009

The Case For Brutal Honesty About Movies

Here's a movie that I would recommend that you avoid unless you want to be confused, bewildered and depressed.  Interestingly, it's a comedy.  And basically appears good-hearted, cheerful and full of appealing people throughout.

The trailer for The Invention of Lying is amusing,   There are some lovely people in it like Ricky Gervais, Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman, Rob Lowe, Tina Fey and etc.  It was written by Ricky Gervais who wrote the original scripts for The Office who is both a talented writer and actor.

Ricky Gervais plays a chubby little failure with rent due, who loses his job, who loves Jennifer Garner's "out-of-his-league" character.  They live in a bizzaro-world like ours but which completely lacks the concept of lying.  Ricky's guy "invents" it and ends up with money, fame, success and the girl.  Predictable, but still appealing.  But don't be fooled.

But there are some real negatives about it that kind of ruin it.  The most malignant is that, in the interest of kindness to his dying mother, this Ricky invents God, the idea of an afterlife and reward for a good life lived.  People, who don't understand lies, believe him whole-heartedly throughout.  Gullibility rewarded.  This is never corrected.  Just harshly laid out there.  God's a lie.

Yoicks. But there are also some real flaws in development. People apparently have never had "commandments", but they seemed to live decently among themselves before learning about the "Man Upstairs" and after.  Nothing here changes.  That's bad movie-making, isn't it?   Shouldn't something  change or make a difference, or matter especially when it's introduced in the title?

And the idea of honesty in this movie seemed to actually mean "cruelty and crudity."  "You're ugly and I've never liked you" is hardly to be embraced as honesty.  It's meanness, don't you think?  But that's never cleared up.

Ricky's character is also very loveable, loving and very caring but he is the inventor of lying.  Good irony, I'd say, but that's really not developed.  If this is to show that in the name of kindness we use lies, the point is muddled.  Again, the discovery of lying doesn't seem to change much.  People remain gullible but don't start lying.  Just Ricky's guy continues on employing lies.  Yet he vascillates between using them and not, without displaying much concern or integrity or developing an awareness of their inherent use.  Kinda just arbitrarily.

And,neither lies nor honesty allow him to ultimately end up with the girl.   He just does.  Wouldn't this be an important point to make?  It's not.  All just limps along.

And did Ricky's character achieve a reward in ultimately ending up with Garner?  She's really pretty vapid and not up to the expectations that we are led to believe that Ricky's character believes in.  She's cute but not that cute.  It just didn't work.

And when you leave, you're not only a little ticked off, but kinda depressed.  Is that how you leave a happy little comedy?  I don't think it would have taken much tweaking to make it good, but none was used it would appear.  I'm just being honest.  And to be totally honest, I'm sick of thinking about this.

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