MOVIE REVIEW | I Love You Phillip Morris (2009)

In a nutshell, Bored & Dangerous says: “A movie that will stay with me.  And stay pretty high on the list when I think of the best Jim Carrey or Ewan McGregor movies.”

Phillip 2.jpg
“From the moment we met, you’ve done nothin’ but lie. Our whole relationship, just lies.”

Netflix and at home streaming is obviously awesome for its convenience.  When I was a kid, and trips to the video shop were a special treat, the idea of having access to countless movies at home, anytime, would have seemed as insanely awesome as it was impossible.  But more than convenience, one of the great things I’m finding about Netflix is the habit I’m getting into of watching movies that look kind of interesting, but I’d never normally put in any actual effort to see them.  Lazily and aimlessly scrolling through the endless menu is the only situation in which I could imagine myself ever actually committing 100 minutes to a movie like I Love You Phillip Morris.  And it’s a lazy, aimless gamble that paid off.

Ever since finding out he was adopted, Steven Russell (Jim Carrey) tried to live the quintessential life he thought was normal.  Working as a local cop, singing in the local choir, marrying a local girl (Leslie Mann as Debbie) and starting a family in his local, Texas town.  But after a car accident, Steven realises that he can never be truly happy living a lie and embraces life as the gay man he has always kept hidden.

When his trophy boyfriend, designer breed pups and flaming new lifestyle in Florida prove to be beyond his means, Steven indulges in some credit card fraud that sees him thrown in jail.  Behind bars, he meets and falls in love with fellow inmate, Phillip Morris (Ewan McGregor). Not quite rehabilitated but released anyway, Steven pretends to be a lawyer, doing a good enough job to have Phillip released, and the two build a life together.  A life funded by con after con after con, perpetrated by Steven

Even when I Love You Phillip Morris was made back in 2009, Jim Carrey was already long past his box office smashing peak.  Now, with seven more years added to that gap, it bummed me out a little to realise how overlooked he is these days.  Sure, his attempts at dramatic legitimacy resulted in some real shit bombs like The Majestic, or indulgent wanks like Man on the Moon.  But he was great in The Truman Show.  And I Love You Phillip Morris strikes a perfect balance between his rubber faced, broad comedy slapstick stuff, and the more serious, darkness of something like The Truman Show.

Phillip 1

This is a movie that I assume is all but forgotten in 2016.  Unless you’ve actually seen it.  Because while I can’t remember anyone talking about it at the time or in the years since, now that I have seen I Love You Phillip Morris, I feel like it’s a movie that will stay with me.  And stay pretty high on the list when I think of the best Jim Carrey or Ewan McGregor performances.

I Love You Phillip Morris
Directed By – Glenn Ficarra, John Requa
Written By – Glenn Ficarra, John Requa

Other Opinions Are Available.  What did these people have to say about I Love You Phillip Morris?
The A.V Club
Roger Ebert
Chelsea Loves Movies

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