Director: Ricky Gervais and Matthew Robinson Release Date: 2 October Review by Ben Macnair Following on from Ghost town Ricky Gervais’s latest film The Invention of Lying finds the star rubbing shoulders with an ensemble cast high on star wattage. Names from the American comedy firmament such as Tina Fey, Jason Bateman and Christopher Guest mix with critically acclaimed actors such as Ed Norton and Philip Seymour Hoffman and largely find themselves in thankless roles. Gervais co-wrote the film, and gives himself the starring role as the man who invented God. He plays Mark Bellison, a lowly screenwriter in a documentary film-making company, who is told he is about to lose his job. He lives in a run down apartment with a suicidal neighbour, and his mother is in a nursing home. It is an alternative universe, where nobody can lie, or make any thing up. People have to be brutally honest about themselves and other people, so we find people pointing out that they hate their jobs, or what they have done with their lives, or pointing out the shortcomings in other people. Mark tries to win the heart of Anna (Jennifer Garner), but all she does is point out that Gervais will give her children that are fat with snub noses. Mark uses his new found gift of lying to get money from the bank, to impress women, and to win back his job with a historical document that does for history the same that Quentin Tarantino does. It is not until he offers words of comfort about heaven to his mother on his deathbed that his gift is let lose on the world. Inventing the concept of a Man in the sky who watches over everyone, and rewards them in heaven with their own mansions, and an existence free of pain, with their favourite people makes Mark a very rich and very popular man, but it does not bring him the happiness he was after. After stopping the marriage of Anna to Mark’s sworn nemesis at work (played by Rob Lowe) because they make a better genetic match, he wins her over with a cloyingly sentimental speech, and the Hollywood happy ending is tacked onto the end of a film that could have been so much more. It was a good idea, and a good script with a number of good performance, but somehow it never did take of as a film. Rating: 6/10