SUPPLEMENTAL MATERIALS FOR LESSON PLAN ON
SOCIAL SATIRE USING THE INVENTION OF LYING
Go to the Learning Guide for this film.
Additional Discussion Questions:
Continued from the Learning Guide...
6. What is Mark trying to do when he tells Anna, just before her date with Brad Kessler, that the rule from the "man in the sky" is that she should not have sex before marriage? Why does this turn out to be so funny? Suggested Response: She has come to give him a present of birthday sex, but since they are not married and he has just told her about the new rule, she cannot go through with the present. This is funny because there is an "incongruity between what is expected and what occurs." Mark doesnt' expect Anna to offer to have sex with him and only wants to stop her from having sex with Brad Kessler. It turns out that he stops her from having sex with him as well.
Social-Emotional Learning Discussion Questions
Anwer each of the following questions with reference to the themes of the movie.
1. When Mark first met Anna, why didn't she think he was a suitable match for her? Suggested Response: He wasn't tall and good looking. This refers to a theme in the movie that people are classified by how they look rather than for their inner qualities.
2. Why didn't Anna think that Mark was a suitable match for her when he became rich, famous and the spokesman for the "man in the sky"? Suggested Response: For Anna, height and looks were more important than wealth,fame or even a pipeline to the Almighty.
Discussion Questions Relating to Ethical Issues will facilitate the use of this film to teach ethical principles and critical viewing. Additional questions are set out below.
(Be honest; Don't deceive, cheat or steal; Be reliable -- do what you say you'll do; Have the courage to do the right thing; Build a good reputation; Be loyal -- stand by your family, friends and country)
1. What has this movie told you about telling the truth? Suggested Response: There are a number of valid possible responses, including, that white lies help people get through the day without being insulted and it is important not to lie about important things such as when Mark declines to lie to Anna about whether the "man in the sky" can help her to decide whether to marry Brad or abandon him to marry Mark.
Ask students to find an advertisement on television, in a magazine or in a newspaper and to convert it to an advertisment that could have been shown in the world of this film.
Common Core State Standards that can be Served by this Learning Guide
(Anchor Standards only)
Multimedia: Anchor Standard #7 for Reading (for both ELA classes and for History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Classes). (The three Anchor Standards read: "Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media, including visually and quantitatively as well as in words.") CCSS pp. 35 & 60. See also Anchor Standard # 2 for ELA Speaking and Listening, CCSS pg. 48.
Writing: Anchor Standards #s 1 - 5 and 7- 10 for Writing and related standards (for both ELA classes and for History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Classes). CCSS pp. 41 & 63.
Speaking and Listening: Anchor Standards #s 1 - 3 (for ELA classes). CCSS pg. 48.
Not all assignments reach all Anchor Standards. Teachers are encouraged to review the specific standards to make sure that over the term all standards are met.
Selected Awards, Cast and Director:
Selected Awards: 2010 Evening Standard British Film Awards Nominations, Peter Sellers Award for Comedy: Ricky Gervais;
Ricky Gervais as Mark Bellison,
Jennifer Garner as Anna McDoogles,
Jonah Hill as Frank,
Louis C.K. as Greg.
Jeffrey Tambor as Anthony,
Fionnula Flanagan as Martha Bellison,
Rob Lowe as Brad Kessler,
Tina Fey as Shelley,
Donna Sorbello as Anna's Mother Gordon-Levitt, Jay O. Sanders.
Director: Ricky Gervais and Matthew Robinson.
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