Sometimes you just need to see a movie that is not all flashy and star-filled. There is a strange joy in watching actors you’ve never seen before since you bring no expectations to their performances. The Lie is one of those little indie treats. It is based on a short story by T. Coraghessan Boyle about a 30-something guy who wakes up to his going nowhere life and concocts a lie to get out of work, which then spirals out of control.
Joshua Leonard whose big acting break came in 1999 with Blair Witch Project directs and stars in the film. (He shares a writing credit as well.) He plays Lonnie. Lonnie wanted to be a musician back when he was in college and still dreams of getting together a band with his buddy, only now he has a wife, Clover (Jess Weixler), in law school, and a cute little kid, and he’s stuck in a soul sucking job that he can’t leave because he needs to be “responsible.” The catalyst for his rebellion is when his idealist wife informs him that she has been offered a job with a pharmaceutical company. Lonnie’s job is drudgery and his boss a screamer, and he arrives at work one day and just decides he can’t go in, so he makes up an excuse, a little white lie. Then the next day he makes another and before you know it he has been gone for a week and as his boss threatens him, Lonnie throws out the biggest lie of all, one that he can’t take back and one that has severe repercussions.
The Lie is very well acted and apparently much of the dialogue is improvised. Fortunately, the chemistry between Lonnie and Clover is really good, so you enjoy the give and take of this young couple trying to decide what life is supposed to be about and whether they are selling out their former dreams. It is by turns both sweet and funny. And the kid is very cute. It is not a deep story, but it is one that many of us can relate to. Are we living the lives we dreamt of in our youth? The Lie is in theaters now, but it will also make a very good rental/stream when it comes out in a few months. It is one of the nicer little films I’ve seen in a while.