The movie tells the story of con artist Steven Jay Russell (Jim Carrey). Steven was a police officer who had a wife (Leslie Mann), kids and was obsessed with finding his natural parents who gave him up for adoption. But when he actually does find his family, his world falls apart and he decides to live life to the fullest. So, he finally tells his wife that he’s gay and becomes a con artist to support his new lifestyle. Unfortunately that way, he ends up in prison, where he meets the man of his life: Phillip Morris (Ewan McGregor). And that’s only the beginning.
I Love You Phillip Morris is a great comedy, albeit not a perfect movie. One has to wonder why this story was never told before (probably due to TEH GAY!) – it lends itself wonderfully to the film format.
What a great story, you guys! Steven Russell must have been quite the character. Ficarra and Requa manage to capture his eccentricities as well as his intelligence and despite his ruthlessness and criminality, you never lose interest in him as a person.
A big part of that is Jim Carrey’s performance: Carrey has an impeccable sense of comedic timing and he’s not afraid to use it. Unfortunately, at a few times during the movie, he slips into Dumb and Dumber mode and his face slips just a little too far.
The other “stain” on this otherwise really great movie is Ewan McGregor’s character – or better the lack thereof. It seems that all anybody ever gave Ewan as a character description was “blond, naive toyboy”. And that’s what Phillip Morris stays.
Nevertheless, the movie is very funny and somehow it manages to stay absolutely true. Now, I know very little about the actual live of Steven Russell and how much poetic license the movie takes. And some of it seems absolutely preposterous. Yet I had no problem believing that all of it happened exactly like that. Which is pretty cool.
Summarising: Definitely worth a watch.
*Rodrigo Santoro not only played Karl in Love Actually but also Xerxes in 300. That’s quite a track record…