It's been 11 days since I saw The Invention of Lying and only now do I feel removed from it enough to write a review. The short version is that as a critique of religion and pop culture, it's pretty good but as a funny movie - which it is supposed to be - it's not so good.
All movies, except maybe for newsreels, exist in a fictional universe. That universe may look and feel much like the one you and I reside in but no movie can exist inside the universe in which it takes place. Much to my pleasure, The Invention of Lying starts out by saying it exists in a universe where lying doesn't exist, which most definitively isn't the one I live in. There are some genuinely funny moments at first when we hear people speak their minds, which they frequently do because if there is no dishonesty, there can be no shame. Then, the movie flips gears.
The Invention of Lying turns from a decent comedy to a - what - satire, parody, expose of religion, faith and celebrity? Hardly the gut-busting funnyness we expect from Ricky Gervais. I'm usually up for a good discussion of creation mythology and religion but I just plopped down $6.50 for a comedy, so let's see something with some laughs. Please.