Love Kills Laughs in Invention of Lying

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 2, 2009 8:54 AM CDT

(Newser) – Critics agree: The Invention of Lying should have been better. It’s got a great concept, and the subversive moxy to call religion a fib, but then turns into a standard romantic comedy. Here’s what they’re saying:

  • It’s a “wickedly funny idea” with the wickedness taken out, says Ty Burr of the Boston Globe. It settles for being a “sweet but toothless romantic comedy.” The worst part is that Jennifer Garner’s character “isn’t worth his or our time.”

  • The first hour is “stunningly funny,” says Peter Travers of Rolling Stone, but “It's no fun watching Gervais work out a tired fantasy of turning hot babes into chubby chasers.”
  • Still, the admittedly “belabored” romantic bits weren’t enough to ruin this “simply inspired” satire for Justin Chang of Variety. “The early reels are a marvel of sustained comic invention and verbal wit.”