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.

How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days

  • Directors: Donald Petrie
  • Producers: Robert Evans, Christine Forsyth Peters, Lynda Obst, Richard Vane
  • Writers: Kristen Buckley, Brian Regan, Burr Steers, Patrick Swidler
  • Genres: Comedy, Romance
  • Actors: Kate Hudson, Matthew McConaughey

The film tells the story of a journalist, Andie Anderson (Hudson), who works for a magazine called Composure as the “How to…” woman. She’s bored and wishes she could write more about important things, such as politics, economics, religion, poverty, etc. She soon finds herself writing an article called “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.” Andie tells her boss that, to write more freely and creatively, she’ll date a man and do all the wrong things women tend to do in relationships, and record her experiences for the article.

At the same time, advertising executive Benjamin Barry (McConaughey) tells his boss that he can make any woman fall in love with him in just ten days. To prove it, he’ll find a woman and bring her to the upcoming company ball as his date. If he succeeds, he gets to be in charge of the advertising for the new diamond company account otherwise headed by his boss.

Ben’s rival coworkers, Judy and Judy, who were at Composure Magazine earlier and are aware of Andie’s new assignment, conspire to have Andie and Ben meet that night and start their quests. Neither Andie nor Ben reveal their true intention, which leads to strange goings-on in their relationship. Andie puts Ben through various experiences to make him quickly break up with her, but Ben sticks around in to fulfill his quest to make her fall in love with him. Andie acts clingy, interferes with Ben’s guys night with his friends, and takes him to a Celine Dion concert instead of a basketball game. Ben stays with her despite everything and both people reveal their true motives at the end, but their initial desires have changed.