First off I’d like to rail against the MPAA for a bit. This poor little film, Where the Truth Lies is opening without a rating because it was tagged with the dreaded NC-17 which it surrendered. Why? A bit of the sex, you see. The dirty human body, some breasts, some backsides, well it’s all quite scandalous. The only problem is – you’ve seen it before if you’re over fifteen. Hell, you’ve probably done some of it. I’m not trying to go after the chaste here, I’m just saying after a certain age most people know the mechanics. They should’ve given this film an R rating and moved on.
Now, back to our regularly scheduled review.
Where the Truth Lies is a nice little film with some stupendous acting. The fictional story is based upon a novel by Rupert Holmes about a ’50s comedy group named “Vince and Lanny”. They are the hottest comedy duo of the generation when they have an unfortunate incident with a dead broad (that’s what they called them back then, and by “them” I mean women). Twenty years later an investigative reporter tries to pry the truth of what happened to the girl, unwittingly becoming intertwined herself.
Colin Firth and Kevin Bacon play Vince and Lanny. The investigative reporter is played by Alison Lohman (Matchstick Men). All three leads interact nicely and we see quite a bit of Ms. Lohman that’s pleasant to the eye. Kevin Bacon doesn’t choose many shabby roles and this is no exception. He’s a complicated monster, a charming lady’s man. Colin Firth plays a broken man to a tee. The film itself also looks authentic to the time and it has the requisite art house shots. It is, at times, a very beautiful film, occasionally suspenseful as well. But neither quality is enough to elevate it out of a typical noir piece. You’ll notice during the film that the melancholy score seems to enduce dread to the point where it is practically dripping from the screen, even when the sun is shining.
My ultimate issue with Where the Truth Lies is the story just doesn’t seem to add up – at least not enough for my liking. It’s also not based on a true story at all, which allows the film to trade on authenticity, but not actually be authentic. The story occasionally provides facts to keep the film going, an effective trick but not really an impressive one. When it all unravels it seems a bit like, “Okay, anything else you want to tell me?”
This brings us back to the MPAA. They always draw undue attention to films that don’t really deserve it and this is the case here. Had this film been released with an R-rating about 12 people would have seen it and the social morals of our time would have somehow been maintained. Now that it doesn’t have a rating it will probably get a few thousand people based on that alone. If you are in a desperate need for film noir or some light, sexual intimation go check this out. If you are running light on patience see something else.