December 6, 2010
Review: I Love You Phillip Morris
A long time ago, in like February, I saw a trailer for I Love You Phillip Morris. I thought to myself, "Self, that could be a funny movie, plus it's based on a true story and you're a sucker for that kind of crap. Ah, self, you are so cool." But then it didn't come out. Eventually after several distribution problems and release delays, the movie finally made it to my small little hamlet of Los Angeles. What in the world could delay a true life con man movie starring Jim Carrey and Ewan Mcgregor? I'll give you a hint: Gay.
Oh yeah. They're gay and this is America so of course it's going to have distribution problems. They even had problems getting the movie made in the first place. Rumor is that possible producers asked for Ewan McGregor's character to be changed from male to female. But that wouldn't work for one teensy reason: It's a true story about 2 gay men you fucking morons! No you can't change the title fucking character, Phillip Morris, into a god damned woman! They meet in prison. How is that going to work if Phillip is a fucking girl? Sheeesh!
Anyway it did eventually get made and then eventually released and here's my review. It's pretty good.
Oh, you want more detail? OK then.
I Love You Phillip Morris is a too-weird-it-has-to-be-true story of a con man Steve, played by Jim Carrey, and his love affair with Phillip Morris, played by Ewan McGregor. I'm not going to go into too much plot description here because the film itself doesn't delve too deep into the details of the story itself. Which I feel is a flaw in a movie that is supposed to have "really happened." The who, what, when, where and whys are secondary to a love story about the extremes a man would go through for the person he loves.
Ultimately it's a bittersweet, gay, screwball romantic comedy. And that's all really. It's not subversive or incendiary. It's not really radical in any way. It's nothing that would warrant the production or distribution problems it supposedly had. The movie isn't Oscar worthy either, except for maybe Jim Carrey's performance. It's just a sweet, quirky, funny movie that just happens to have a lot of blow jobs.
The movie centers on Steve McVicker who is played by Jim Carrey. And by "centered" I mean he is the movie. He carries the movie. Other actors like Ewan McGregor and Leslie Mann are barely in it. This was a wise choice by the filmmakers because Steve is a pretty narcissistic guy and it makes sense that the film should revolve around him. I'm not a Jim Carrey fan but this film gives him space to do his Jim Carrey thing and the result is hilarity. The movie reminds you that he is a funny and talented actor. It could have been easy for me to hate the rather selfish criminal character Steve, but Jim fearlessly portrays him with heart and bravado. Ewan McGregor is pretty good too.
So, I recommend I Love You Phillip Morris to you dear blog readers. If you are looking for a funny film about a con man whose love, and actual person, a prison system couldn't hold then you will not be disappointed. I do not recommend this movie to your grandma or to Texans. It makes fun of Texas pretty bad.