This Side of the Truth

  • Directors: Ricky Gervais, Matthew Robinson
  • Producers: Ricky Gervais, Dan Lin, Lynda Obst, Oly Obst
  • Writers: Ricky Gervais, Matthew Robinson
  • Genres: Comedy
  • Actors: Ricky Gervais, Jennifer Garner, Jonah Hill, Louis C K, Christopher Guest, Rob Lowe, Tina Fey

The film is set in an alternate reality in which there is no such thing as lying, and everything said is the absolute truth. In this world, people continually make very blunt and often cruel statements and remarks that people in the real world would normally keep to themselves. The concepts of fiction, imagination, and speculation do not exist, resulting in the movie industry being limited to lecture-style historical readings, television commercials being straightforward, and an absence of religion.

Mark Bellison is an unsuccessful lecture-film writer, who is cursed with writing for the 14th century, a “very boring” era to write about. One night, he goes out on a date with Anna McDoogles. She bluntly states to Mark that she is not attracted to him due to his looks and unsuccessful financial situation, but is going out with him to satisfy her extremely prejudicial mother. After the date, she admits that she had a better time than she thought she would.

The next day Mark is fired from his job and his landlord evicts him for being short on his $800 rent. Depressed, he goes to the bank to close his account and use his remaining money to move out of his apartment. The teller informs him that the computers are down, but since society is one of full disclosure, she asks Mark how much money he has in his account. Mark has an epiphany, and tells the world’s first lie, that he has $800 in his account. The computer comes back online and shows his balance is $300, but the teller gives him the full $800 anyway, assuming that the computer made a mistake.

Years later, Anna and Mark are married with a son, with another child on the way, and their son has inherited Mark’s ability to lie.