Lying about having cancer for empathy and financial gain would seem to be an unforgivable sin. Just imagine the amount of manipulation, cruelty, and deceit required. Yet this is the fascinating choice for the central drama in White Lie.
A typical story about this subject would go something like this: introduce the protagonist, who in a fleeting moment of weakness claims that she has cancer to soften some other harm. The story spins out of her control. She is forced to act the part until she realizes she’s in too deep, confesses, and is eventually forgiven after learning some hard lessons. That’s not at all what White Lie is — it is far bolder, and as a result, far more thrilling.
“…when we’re introduced to Katie she’s been lying about cancer for some time.”
When we’re introduced to Katie, she’s been lying about cancer for some time. The lies are second nature to her — when she wants to get out of something, she just says she’s not feeling well. When her girlfriend is distant, she lays it on thick to get sympathy. And when she needs money, her fundraising drive is practically an ATM machine. She’s also built an elaborate web of a backstory, complete with chemotherapy visits and counterfeit drugs. But when a foundation requires proof of her medical records, and her partner wants to get closer, Katie is forced to go all out to protect her secret.