Movie Review: I Love You Phillip Morris

Movie Review: I Love You Phillip Morris

Summary: Based on a true story,  Jim Carrey is Steven Russell, a legendary Texas con artist who was once a married police officer but came out as a gay man.

Published November 29, 2010

Summary : Based on a true story,  Jim Carrey is Steven Russell, a legendary Texas con artist who was once a married police officer but came out as a gay man. Rationalizing that "being gay is really expensive," he becomes an expert at scamming insurance companies. Eventually, Steven is behind bars and falls in love with a soft and delicate inmate, Phillip Morris (Ewan McGregor ). His quest is to make Phillip Morris the happiest man alive, all while constantly escaping prison.  The real Steven Russell escaped prison 14 times and is now serving a 144-year sentence.

Review : Directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa , I Love You Phillip Morris debuted nearly two years ago at the Sundance Film Festival.  It's peculiar why the flick took nearly two years to get distribution (although I can take an educated guess) -- regardless of the edgy content this is an hilarious and brilliantly made comedy.

As a disclaimer, even for the most progressive of audiences, there are some jaw-dropping, raunchy moments. But, at its heart, this is an extremely well-written story topped off with the unforgettable acting chops of In Living Color alum Jim Carrey. Carrey maniacally bounces across the screen and is undeniably engaging in a character that will more than likely go down as one of his most transformative performances.

We all know comedians never get the props they deserve. Hopefully, Phillip Morris will change that for Fire Marshall Bill (yep, I'm never letting go of Fire Marshall Bill!). In his walk, talk and even the creepy twinkle in his eye, this is a Jim Carrey audiences have never seen. His co-star, Ewan McGregor, known for playing Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars , is equally strong, as the two have an odd chemistry that fits for the big screen.

Written and directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, I Love You Phillip Morris is swiftly edited, fluidly ties together, and clocks in at a perfect 100 minutes -- a needed relief from films that are over two hours long yet only worth an hour. Padded with contradictory bright imagery, Ficarra and Requa have created one of the most smoothly executed films of the year.

Phillip Morris does teeter the line of relying on stereotypes. The gay men in the film are framed as materialistic, selfish sex hounds with no consciousness of life outside of their glamorous world. On the surface, there is little balance; however, looking deeper, the relationship between Steven and Phillip is presented with sincerity, not "fruity" buffoonery.

This is an excellent movie, rarely ever going off the mark, and with no political agenda. I Love You Phillip Morris is easily the best comedy of the year.

I Love You Phillip Morris is in theaters nationwide Friday.

Written by Clay Cane

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