In an alternate reality where everyone tells the truth, Ricky Gervais learns the art of lying, a talent that gives him a considerable edge over the rest of the world. The high concept of complete candor provokes plenty of brutal laughs in the early reels, as a radiant Jennifer Garner tells the stubby Gervais exactly what she thinks of him on their first date and he visits his aging mother at a nursing home called A Sad Place for Hopeless Old People. But in this story, which Gervais wrote and directed, the truth is invariably bleak—the hero’s most popular lie is that there’s a God and an afterlife. And the romantic plot, involving his unrequited loved for Garner, is soured by her character’s unconcealed shallowness: she won’t have him because his genes aren’t up to snuff. For them to live happily ever after, Gervais must learn the art of lying to us. PG-13, 100 min.