The movie starts with Mark Bellison (Ricky Gervais) getting ready for his date with the beautiful Anna McDoogles (Jennifer Garner). Mark narrates this part of the movie saying he has nothing to say, but he just wants to say stuff during the beginning of the movie credits since some director and writer (Ricky Gervais himself wrote this movie) thinks they are so important to be mentioned before the movie starts.
Anyway, he explains this is the world where everyone tells the whole truth, no matter how hurtful or how cruel. It is not that the people wishes not to lie; it is that there is not even the concept of lying; in this world, they do not even have the word “lie.”
We see ads on TV such as Coca Cola, with an average looking man standing next to one coke can. The ad man stands there asking the audience that they need to buy and drink coke because they need their business, not because coke is good, because it’s just sugar and water. (So the idea is, even on advertisement, this world does not have the concept of pretty pictures and good-looking actors to misconception the product. One of the tagline for a Pepsi ad was: “Pepsi: when they don’t have Coke.”
Mark seems excited to be going on this date with the girl of his dream. Mark dresses up really nicely and arrives at Anna’s apartment. Anna opens the door and complains that Mark is too early because she is in the middle of masturbating. Anna said she is already not too excited about this date that her own mother set up for and she wishes that Mark will not mind waiting downstairs for a bit while she finishes masturbating upstairs. Mark was feeling awkward because everything Anna had to say was taking shots at Mark being not good looking enough and not rich and probably very boring as well. When Anna finished, she proudly said she did and they go on to a not-expensive-enough restaurant.
The waiter at the restaurant tells Mark is out of Anna’s league and proceeds to ask Anna out. Anna’s mother calls at this moment and Anna goes on and tells her mom how disastrous this date has been and continues to mention how ugly Mark is (the exact words are fat, short and has a snobby nose). Anna makes it very clear that there will definitely not be a second date, because it is a waste of time since Mark does not carry the genetic qualification for Anna and he definitely does not have the financial capability to support her and provide for her sine she does pretty well herself.
Mark mentions that he is about to get fired at his job because he has been writing really bad screenplays. Here is a note that needs to be mentioned: in this world, there are no movies; there is the concept of movies. So when people go to the movies or turn on their televisions, they see a recognized or admired man sitting on a couch narrating historical events that area written by guys like Mark.
Mark leaves his apartment this one morning and meets his neighbor Frank (Johan Hill) in the elevator. Frank tells Mark that he has such a bad night because he failed to kill himself again last night and had to suffer a lot of throwing up from swallowing sleeping pills. So Frank depressingly says that he will try again this very night. Mark cares very little and walks to work. At work, his secretary Shelley (Tina Fey) tells Mark that his boss is going to work up his nerves and then come and fire Mark today; Shelley also states a lot of disrespectful and cruel comments about how she hated Mark etc. At this moment Brad Kessler (Rob Lowe) charmingly walks to Mark to tell Mark that he always hated him as well, and stating that he will forever be second as a screen writer to the great Brad. Mark’s boss then fires Mark in such an informal fashion, more like a mention and a murmur on the way out the office.
Mark goes home, trying to see what to do next with his life, as his landlord pounds on the door to demand the rent. Mark has only $300 in the bank, and he needs $800 to pay the rent, so the landlord gives him 24 hours to vacate the apartment. As Mark goes to the bank, he asks to withdraw all the money left in his account. The bank teller tells Mark that the system is down so just tell her how much he needs to withdraw.
Then suddenly some weird internal vision with blood vessels and cells and electrons did their thing through the eyes of Mark and into his brain, and Mark said “something that is not what it is supposed to be” (since there is no such word or concept as lie), Mark asks to withdraw $800. Upon saying this, the teller said the system is back on, and she notices that there is only $300 in Mark’s account, Mark feels embarrassed and just when he is about to explain his mistake, the teller hands Mark $800 that he asks for, saying the system must have gotten it wrong.
Mark felt this incredible power that he all of a sudden possess. He pays his rent, and goes to a bar with his buddy Greg and tries to explain this magical power that he has. Philip Seymour Hoffman guest stars here as the bartender. Mark asks his Greg and the bartender what they would do if they can do anything in the world, and they both agreed that they would have sex with a woman. So Mark goes out of the bar and notices this hot sexy blonde model. The model tells Mark to save his breathe since she will never be attracted to him. Mark then tells out in the middle of the street that if they do not have sex at the moment the world is going to end. The model turns around and believes what Mark says and they hurry to a motel. At the motel, Mark feels really wrong doing this, as the model willingly wants to have sex with Mark. Mark then pretends a call came from NASA and said that everything is fine already, yet the model feels they already been through so much and she still wants to have sex, but Mark storms off and back to the bar.
Mark decides that the first thing he needs to do is make a lot of money with this power. So his drunken buddy Greg decides to drive them to a casino. On the way there, they are pulled over by the cop, in which Edward Norton guest stars here. Just as Greg is about to get arrested for driving under the influence, Mark tells the cop that Greg is not drunk, and the cop lets them go.
At the casino, Mark got some chips and start to do his magic around the casino. He bets on roulettes and all that using his power saying he did place his bet on a certain number and he wins big. He even calls the manager to state that he won the big jackpot but the machine malfunctioned. The manager believes him and proceeds to give Mark his fair share.
Mark runs into his neighbor Frank again in the elevator, but this time, Mark tells Frank that there is a lot to live for in this life, and that he should not end his life now. Mark lies to Frank, or gives hope to Frank that there is a future of happiness for him, so they proceed to hang out that night. Frank also went out to the streets to make couples and old people and everyone false hopes with his magic power, but bringing happiness to people all over town.
Mark works up his nerve to ask Anna out on another date. This time, Anna is still very confused since she believes her attraction for his will not change. But Mark said it would all be different now so she should give him another chance. Anna then finally agrees. At the restaurant, Anna still continues to say that his genetics are just not good enough to provide good children for Anna and Mark is once again turned down by his entire existence. But this time, Mark’s phone rings and it is the hospital about his terminally illed mother. Mark and Anna storms off to the hospital.
At the hospital, with the doctor all being brutally honest that the mother is dying, Mark sadly sits next to his mother. The mother tells Mark that she is so afraid of dying, because this is supposed to be it that she is going to a world of nothing from now on and she is very afraid. Mark then lies to the mother that she will be going to a very happy place of eternity. There will be all the people she ever loved, she will own a mansion of her dreams and she will happy forever. The mother happily and excited passes away right after this. But the doctor (Jason Bateman guest stars) and the nurses all listens to what Mark said in a disbelief and begs to hear more.
Mark depressingly leaves the hospital with Anna and she feels sorry for him and she comforts him by holding his hand as he stays over at Anna’s place.
The next morning, while Anna follows Mark home, Mark notices there is a hundreds of people and news people outside his apartment. Turns out, words from the hospital has spread and Mark is the man who knows what is there in the afterlife as the they gather to listen to Mark explains to them. Mark ignores everyone and runs to his apartment. His buddy Greg comes in with pizza ordered, and Anna comes by right after that. Greg and Anna both agrees that Mark has to go out and make a speech and give an answer to the people to make them happy, because what he knows makes Anna very happy. So Mark spends the night writing up “commandment” style lists and goes onto to put them on pizza boxes and steps outside to the world.
With the whole world watching and listening, Mark says that the “Man in the Sky” talks to him and him only. This brought up a bunch of questions such as if the man is in the clouds, or in space, or flying etc. Mark has to answer to hundreds of questions for each of his statement. Overall, Mark said this:
Man in the sky controls all the good and bad things that happen to people.
Man in the sky decides whether people are good or evil to go into the happy afterlife.
Each person is allowed to have three chances to still qualify as good and go to heaven.
In heaven, each person will get the mansion of his dreams and all their loved ones will be there.
Everyone also gets free ice creams.
Mark then becomes the most recognized person in the world with his ability to talk to the man in the sky. He also asks to get his job back, but the boss very much ignores that because he thinks Mark is the worst screenwriter of all time. So Mark writes up an imaginary story about aliens landing and that he had found this story in the desert while he was away. The boss quickly calls everyone in to listen to this amazingly big “historical” story. In no time, Mark surpassed Brad as the most loved and best screenwriter.
But during this whole time, Brad encounters Anna while she accompanies Mark around the set. Anna decides to go on a date with Brad with Mark asking Anna not to. He also tells Anna that she is only allowed to have sex with someone she marries. Anna says that Brad is very good looking and charming and has a good financial status that is a perfect match to her demands. Brad knows that and is very proud that he can get the only thing that Mark cannot get, which is genes to produce better looking children.
Mark goes onto be depressed and locks himself in his mansion for months. It looks like it has been months because Mark has grew a big beard and his hair is extremely long, kind of like Jesus. Anna comes and hands Mark an invitation to her wedding with Brad. Mark begs Anna not to marry Brad, but she explains that her time is limited to produce good looking and healthy offspring, and she does not want her kids to be fat and have a snobby nose like Mark does.
Mark then goes back to his little shell and decides to sleep through the pain. Greg then comes in and brings in suit and a shaver for Mark, telling Mark that it is still not too late for Mark till the end. At one point around here, Anna walks in the park and sees a bunch of good-looking kids picking on a fat kid eating ice cream. She kicks the bullies away and stays and talks to the fat kid. Anna tells the kid that he is not called fat kid, but he is a kid with a great smile. Anna then understands that kids are kids, good looking or not.
Mark cleans up and heads the church for Brad and Anna’s wedding. During the wedding, Mark stands up and says that he is the better match for Anna. Mark understands that he is everything incomparable to Brad’s charm and wits and genes, but he still feels that he is the one that will truly love her for being herself. Anna tells Mark that she cannot decide what to do, so she asks Mark what does the man in the sky wants. Mark says he cannot help her with this and that she has to decide herself this time. Mark then walks out of the church as the wedding proceeds because Brad has to be somewhere after this.
Outside the church, Anna runs out to catch up to Mark, and tells him that she loves him and that she does not mind having fat and chubby kids with snobby noses. Mark says he will be the perfect man for that as they kiss and the camera zooms out.
Mark then narrates that he is still the only person in this world that can lie, until one day he was sitting down with his son at the dinner table. Anna makes a really disgusting dish for dinner and we can see that both Mark and the son are disgusted by it. But the son goes on to say, “Mom, this is the best dish you have ever done yet.” As Mark and the son winks and start munching on the bread only.
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