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The Invention of Lying | 2009 | PG-13 | - 5.3.5

In an alternate reality where people are unable to lie, life is hard for an unattractive, unsuccessful man (Ricky Gervais). However, when he realizes he's the only person who has the ability to state something that's not true and be believed, a whole slew of opportunities open up for him. Also with Jennifer Garner, Jonah Hill, Louis C.K., Jeffrey Tambor, Fionnula Flanagan, Rob Lowe and Tina Fey. Directed by Ricky Gervais & Matthew Robinson. [1:39]

SEX/NUDITY 5 - A woman answers the door and tells her date, "I was just masturbating"; she goes on to explain that she is now frustrated because she didn't finish and might go finish while the man waits (he tries to listen to noises emanating from her room and comments on masturbation). A man tells a woman that when she talks about masturbating, it makes him think of her vagina.
 A woman kisses a man on the cheek after a date. A woman touches a man's hand to comfort him. A woman sleeps on a man's shoulder (both are sitting up and fully clothed).
 A man and woman argue about the woman potentially sleeping with another man. A woman gives a man a "coupon for birthday sex," which is not redeemed.
 A man tells a woman passing him on the street "The world will end unless we have sex right now"; they enter a motel room, the woman begins unfastening her clothing and sits on the bed telling the man that they have to hurry (they do not have sex). A motel sign reads "For Intercourse with Near Strangers." When asked what they would do if they could do anything, two men reply, "Touch girls' boobs" and "Maybe have sex with them." A woman tells her mother on the phone that she will not be sleeping with her date, or even kissing him. A woman tells a man that the thought of sleeping with him sickens her. A man makes reference to "Nude Amazonian alien women" in a story.
 A woman wears low-cut tops and dresses in several scenes that reveal cleavage and bare shoulders. A bare-chested man climbs out of bed.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 3 - A woman lies in a hospital bed with oxygen tubes in her nose and IVs in her arms, a doctor explains that after her recent heart attack she will die soon and she becomes agitated because she is afraid to die.
 A police officer pulls a man suspected of DUI out of his car and pushes him to the ground. A man drives a car while he is very drunk and swerves along the road.
 Many people become angry and frustrated and yell. A boy shoves an ice cream cone into another boy's face, smearing ice cream on his face and his shirt, calls him names and leaves.
 A man talks in several scenes about committing suicide and the different methods he has tried or is considering (pills, suffocation). A man says he has been throwing up pills and that he didn't take enough to kill himself. A police officer pulls a car over, leans toward the driver and says, "I'm glad you are not a couple of black guys." A man talks about his father having been an alcoholic and a burglar and that he went to jail. A woman says that she is usually happy, but some days she stays in bed eating and crying. A woman says, "Your baby is so ugly. Like a rat." A woman says, "I just took the biggest poop." A woman tells a man, "You're smothering me." A man talks about saving a baby from a burning building only to be confronted by a snarling bear. A sign outside a retirement community reads "Sad Place for Hopeless Old People."
 A man vomits in a car (we hear retching and splattering).


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LANGUAGE 5 - 1 F-word, a character says, "What the" and mouths "Fff," 15 sexual references, 4 scatological terms, 3 mild obscenities, name-calling (fat, fatty, ugly, nerdy, chubby, pug nose, stupid, dumpy, trash, loser).


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SUBSTANCE USE - A police officer says he has a cocaine habit. A man and a woman order drinks at a restaurant and we see them taking sips from them, three men drink alcohol in a couple of bar scenes, two men hold bottles of beer, a man and a woman drink champagne in a couple of scenes, a woman drinks a beer, a man and a woman drink wine at a restaurant, and a man holds a beer bottle. A man holds an unlit pipe in his mouth.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Inability to lie, lying, lies, the existence of God, religion, disbelief, belief in the supernatural, judging by appearances, flattery, fiction, gullibility, relationships, incompetence, death of a parent, fear of death, loneliness, marriage for good genes, suicide, gambling, cheating, conceit.

MESSAGE - Lying is useful to make people believe life has meaning beyond our time on Earth. Even physically unattractive people can find love if they are genuinely funny and smart.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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