It’s a world where everyone tells the truth – and just about anything they’re thinking. Mark Bellison, played by Ricky Gervais, is a screenwriter who is about to be fired. He’s short and chubby with a flat nose – a genetic pool that means he doesn’t stand a chance with Anna, played by Jennifer Garner, the woman he loves. He loses his job, is short on rent, and heads to the bank to deduct the last of his cash. When there, he realizes he could lie, getting enough money from the teller for rent. Then, when his mother’s on her deathbed, frightened of the eternal void awaiting her, Mark invents a story that good things wait for her on the other side. The hospital staff overhear his description of Heaven, believe every word, and tell others. Soon Mark is a prophet, his first inventive screenplay makes him rich, and he’s basically a good guy. But will that be enough for Anna?
Rating: 7 out of 10
Finally! A good romantic comedy.
Ricky Gervais succeeds in his directorial debut as a likable loser who can’t keep a job or get the girl. This was a lighthearted comedy that succeeded with observant and humble performances by Gervais and Garner, who is likable as an unlikable character. She is a shallow woman hunting for her perfect man to marry and have kids with and won’t date Gervais because he is fat and has a pug nose.
Gervais stumbles into a stroke of genius when he lies for the first time in a world where lying doesn’t exist. It’s a clever concept and goes into places that are very honest, for instance there is no religion or creative thought.
This was a fun, likable film, and I look forward to seeing more of Gervais’ work.