Entertaining Myself (Part Four).
Continuing a favourite pastime here at DonkeyFire (for me, anyway), I bring you part four of Entertaining Myself, where I write a drivel-laden review of a film I’ve watched, and you lap it up like pop-culture Labradors, greedily feasting on my prose and opinions.
This time around, we have the Ricky Gervais comedy ‘The Invention of Lying’*, a thoroughly ‘meh’ inspiring comedy chock full of awkwardness, sub-par (possibly rushed?) scriptwriting, a mixture of bad and average performances and one of the most talented (and chronically underutilized) casts in recent memory.
The premise is cool: Gervais plays a bumbling but mostly likeable nobody (surprise, surprise) who lives in a world where lying has never been invented: everyone is honest all the time, about absolutely everything. As he slowly realises his life is going nowhere, he unintentionally invents lying (and then later, to a certain extent, religion), changing the course of his life forever. And to be honest, Gervais isn’t bad: in fact, one scene in particular was quite moving, showcasing his ability to hit some dramatic high notes.
I like Gervais, a lot: in fact, I think he’s a comic genius. However, his film falls flat for a number of reasons. Firstly, there are enormous plot holes: I get that no one lies, but that doesn’t mean everyone needs to verbalize their every thought (for example). Secondly, Gervais character is hard to sympathise with, what with him being a knowing fraud and all. Thirdly, the script doesn’t live up the premise: as I mentioned, an incredible cast (including Louis C.K. as his best friend, Rob Lowe, Jonah Hill, Tina Fey and cameos by Edward Norton and Philip Seymour Hoffman) can’t save a slow and ultimate dull film, and I feel this is the fault of a rushed and unpolished script.
But one thing really ruined this film for me, and I think it’s high time I addressed Hollywood on this point: JENNIFER GARNER IS FUCKING TERRIBLE. Seriously, she is unfunny, angular, oddly manish and completely unlikeable in every film I’ve ever seen her in. Please Jen (can I call you Jen?) stop raping celluloid and go back to being a tall, boring woman already. You’re married to Ben Affleck, so i’m sure…ahhh…you can rest on that laurel. YOU GOT AFFLECK. GOOOOOOOOOOOOD FOR YOU. Urgh. She really is terrible - she is the female Ashton Kutcher.
2.5 untalented actresses out of a possible 6.
*At some point, I will review a non-fiction film I like. I hope.