10 Terrible Movies That Wasted A Truly Brilliant Concept

9. The Invention Of Lying

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Warner Bros. Pictures/Focus Features

The Concept: The Invention Of Lying is set in a world where lying does not exist - everybody tells the truth, whether it's harsh or not. Do you look fat in that outfit? That's what you'll hear from your friends/significant other.

Enter Mark Bellison (Ricky Gervais), a writer who invents the concept of lying after a series of situations lead to him being fired, and evicted from his home.

Why The Movie Failed: The problem with the way that Gervais (who also co-directed and wrote the film) chose to execute this premise is that he's aimed for 'people don't lie' but he's actually landed on 'people say what's on their minds constantly, with no consideration about how it will affect others or the world around them'.

For example, in one scene, Mark visits Anna (Jennifer Garner) in her room. He knocks on the door, and she answers, commenting that Mark's early. Then, without hesitation - and even though Mark has not asked a question - she tells him she was just masturbating.

Are people in this world also stupid? Anna doesn't have to lie (and her masturbation comment would be a suitable answer had Mark asked what she's been doing) but that doesn't mean she has to tell the truth 24/7, even without being prompted.

The Invention Of Lying is littered with countless moments like this, and they detract from the overall experience; you'll begin to question whether or not Gervais actually understands how his own concept works.

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WhoCulture Channel Manager/Doctor Who Editor at WhatCulture. Can confirm that bow ties are cool.