I Love You Phillip Morris

  • Year:2009
  • Rating:MA
  • Director:John Requa
  • Cast:Jim Carrey, Glenn Ficarra, Leslie Mann, Ewan McGregor
  • Release Date:April 07, 2011
  • Distributor:Roadshow
  • Running time:102 minutes
  • Film Worth:$17.00
  • FILMINK rates movies out of $20 - the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth

Bold, brave and irreverent, this outrageously funny and surprisingly sweet film will leave you chuckling or gasping in disbelief – or both.

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For a while, a couple of years in fact, it seemed that I Love You Phillip Morris was never going to get a release date. Distributors feared that audiences weren't ready for this big lusty gay romance between two notable stars like Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor. Ironically though it's the film's fearless go-for broke style which makes I Love You Phillip Morris such a success. A more timid film would have failed to pay a fitting tribute to its central character - the brilliantly charismatic Steven Jay Russell (Jim Carrey), a multi-talented con artist who enraged and embarrassed detectives and prison guards for years.

The directorial debut of Glenn Ficarra and John Requa (the screenwriting duo behind Bad Santa), I Love You Phillip Morris unravels with an almost breathless but infectious energy. The hilarious opening scenes reveal that Steven, upon learning he was adopted, attempts to become a model citizen and respectable family man as a way of impressing his birth mother. When, however, the two finally meet and Steven has the door slammed in his face, he vows to embrace who he really is - gay. Moving to Florida, Steven realises that "being gay is really expensive" and his extravagant lifestyle is supported via various insurance and credit card schemes that land him in jail.

While in prison, Steven meets and falls for fellow cellmate Phillip Morris (McGregor) and upon his release, he impersonates Phillip's defence lawyer and succeeds in freeing his lover from the clinker. Both free, the pair appear set for a life of domestic bliss but it seems that Steven can't help looking for financial loopholes to exploit. The astounding audaciousness of some of his schemes - particularly his final one - defies belief, but they happened. Steven's currently serving a 144 year jail sentence...

While McGregor is excellent as the shy and almost dainty Phillip, it's Carrey's show. Beyond the outrageously irreverent jokes and gags, Carrey perfectly captures the fascinating but frustrating contradictions of a man who spun an elaborate web of lies in order to sustain a love that was ultimately tender and true.

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