What is 'The Invention Of Lying'? And why are we devoting a week to it?
Ricky Gervais is almost as entertaining to watch while he's working as in a final, finished cut of something.
Maybe it's because I'm a fan. Maybe it's because I'm always curious about how different comics approach their work. Or maybe it's just because he's so constantly entertained by the world around him that it becomes infectious when you're in his general vicinity. Whatever the case, spending a day on the set of "The Invention Of Lying," his new high-concept comedy, was one of the highlights of my professional year in 2008.
The basic premise, for those who don't know yet, involves Mark (Gervais), a screenwriter who hates his job and his life. The world he lives in looks just like ours in every way except one: no one lies. Not at all. And the removal of that one element has changed society in myriad ways. That's the joy of the first part of the script, observing just how different a world without lying is. But when Mark accidentally invents lying, he changes the entire world, and the fallout is both hilarious and thought-provoking.
It's been over a year since I visited the set just outside Boston. May of 2008, to be precise. I'd never met Gervais yet, and I'd only ever exchanged a few e-mails with Matt Robinson, the writer who created "The Invention Of Lying" as a spec, only to somehow find himself co-writing and co-directing the final film with Ricky.
And yet, I found it to be one of the most open, unforced set visits I've ever done, with everyone making themselves more than available.
[more after the jump]
This week, I'll be bringing you interviews with Louis CK, Jennifer Garner, Rob Lowe, and Gervais himself, as well as some conversation with Matt Robinson about the origins of the film and winning the creative partner lottery, and also some impressions of what they were filming while I was there. The film is set to make its premiere in Toronto in just a few weeks, and I'm excited to finally lay eyes on what I think has the potential to be a completely unique big-studio comedy, and one of the real high points of the year.
I'll leave you with a line from the first interview I'm editing right now, with Louis CK. We were talking about the way Hollywood movies insist on making every character "likable," and how everyone's got to be "the best" at whatever it is they do:
"I don't like people who are successful, I don't like people who are good at their job, and I certainly don't like people who are likable."
It's going to be a good week. Hope you'll join us.
Can't get enough of Motion/Captured? Don't miss a post with daily HitFix Blog Alerts. Sign up now.
Don't miss out. Add Motion/Captured to your iGoogle, My Yahoo or My MSN experience by clicking here.
Not part of the HitFix Nation yet? Take 90 seconds and sign up today.
1996 | Crime | RSummary: Jerry, a small-town Minnesota car salesman is bursting at the seams with debt... but he's got a plan. He's going to hire two thugs to kidnap his wife in a scheme to collect a hefty ransom from his wealthy father-in-law. It's going to be a snap and nobody's going to get hurt... until people start ...Director: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Cast: William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare
2008 | Science Fiction | PGSummary: Animated series continues the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker as they battle the Emperor Palpatine, Count Dooku and General Grievous, but also takes time to explore other smaller characters in the Star Wars universe.Director: George Lucas (creator)
Cast: Tom Kane, Dee Bradley Baker, Matt Lanter
2013 | Drama | RSummary: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill have boundless energy in the story of a real-life commodities crook who earned millions through scummy small-time stock trades.Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie
2013 | Comedy | NRSummary: Insanely funny comedy show created by Amy Schumer, who stars in brilliantly funny sketches about sex, city living, dating, and friendship.Director: Daniel Powell, Amy Schumer (creators)
Cast: Amy Schumer, Kevin Kane, Mike Houston
2013 | Thriller | RSummary: Based on the true story of Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) a Miami bodybuilder who wants to live the American dream. He would like to have the money that other people have. So he enlists the help of fellow bodybuilder Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie) and ex-convict, Christian bodybuilder Paul Doyle (D...Director: Michael Bay
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Tony Shalhoub
2007 | Comedy | PGSummary: Newlyweds Nick (Ice Cube) and Suzanne (Long) decide to move to the suburbs to provide a better life for their two kids. But their idea of a dream home is disturbed by a contractor (McGinley) with a bizarre approach to business.Director: Steve Carr
Cast: John C. McGinley, Ice Cube, Nia Long, Aleisha Allen
1997 | Crime | RSummary: Quentin Tarantino adaptats an Elmore Leonard novel into this story of a few increasingly desperate people scraping to get by. It has deep soul, a wicked sense of humor, and Samuel L. Jackson, Robert De Niro, Pam Grier, and Robert Forster.Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster
1993 | Sports | PGSummary: Emotionally powerful sports classic featuring Sean Astin as a skinny high school kid with big football dreams and the determination to make his way towards his dream team at Notre Dame.Director: David Anspaugh
Cast: Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Ned Beatty
1995 | Mystery | NRSummary: Denzel Washington plays an out of work WWII vet who takes the wrong job and is soon neck-deep in a mess of politics, murder, and jazz in '40s Los Angeles.Director: Carl Franklin
Cast: Denzel Washington, Tom Sizemore, Jennifer Beals
Let Streaming Genie help you.