Each Monday, film fan and champion of the downtrodden Jordan Sims picks out an overlooked gem or unfairly maligned masterpiece – and gives them the spotlight they so dearly deserve.
This week, it’s the turn of Ricky Gervais’ conceptual 2009 comedy The Invention of Lying. Here are five reasons why it’s an underrated classic.
1. Everybody’s favourite XFM presenter stars
As well as debuting his directing skills, Ricky Gervais wrote and starred as the lead in the film. While he injects his classic Laurel and Hardy-esque situational comedy into every scene, it’s hard to not enjoy Mark Bellison’s hi-jinks as he traverses a world in which he is definitely at the bottom of the food chain.
2. Ricky Gervais’ email to Philip Seymour Hoffman
After being told by his agent that Philip Seymour Hoffman was “too busy” to appear in the movie in a cameo role, Gervais took it upon himself to email the star himself, writing:
“Dear Philip, will you please appear in my new film? There is very little money involved as I spent the budget on testicular implants, but don’t look upon them as my testicles, look at them as our testicles.”
Needless to say, Philip Seymour Hoffmann did indeed appear in the film.
3. It poses some serious questions
Like it or not, this movie is incredibly deep. In a world where everybody tells the truth, it begs serious questions about: crime rate, relationships, childhood and education. Imagine asking your parents where babies come from and your mother exploding into a rainbow of explicit detail. I’m just one man, but that sounds terrifying.
4: It does adverts the right way
In the scene in which Gervais’ character goes to sleep, a Coca Cola commercial begins to run on the TV and it is fantastically honest. In all honesty, it’s as much of a damnation of consumerism as it is Coca Cola. Who knows why we all drink that “brown sugar water”.
5. It remains valiantly light hearted throughout
As I said, the movie is deep, and poses some serious philosophical question about death and society. And while there are scenes that are moving and emotional, the movie remains whimsical and heart warming. With a bit of skilled acting from Gervais, it definitely gets the prodigious title of “Underrated Classic”.
Do you agree?
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