Sadly, one of the funniest movies of 2009 wasn’t able to reach an American audience until fall of 2010. I Love You Phillip Morris is a dark comedy based on the true events of Steven Russell. It’s filled with great performances by both Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor and it really is a unique film. The directors/writers of this film wrote Bad Santa, which is another great dark comedy.
The story of I Love You Phillip Morris is wild and crazy. It starts out with Steven Russell, who is a happily married man with a job in law enforcement. The only reason he joined law enforcement was to find his mother who abandoned him as a baby. After he finds her, he decides that being a police officer isn’t for him. So he decides to move his family to Texas and run a produce store. While all this is happening it is revealed by Steven himself via voice over that his character is gay. For the longest time he hides his sexuality until one day something happens and he realizes he must tell everyone. He then leaves his wife for a man and starts his life of scams and crimes.
Not too long into his new life does he get caught and sent to prison. It is in prison that he meets the man of his life, Phillip Morris. Once he meets Phillip the movie jumps in and out of prison and takes you along while Steven commits several crimes of fraud all in the name of love. The ending had me laughing hysterically and I really couldn’t believe what was happening!
The movie really is a work of dark humor. It’s so honest and crazy that you really are surprised with what you see. They don’t hold out on anything when it comes to giving you details of Steven’s gay relationships with other men. You can’t help but to laugh at everything that is going on around them. It really is the type of movie that you’re either sold from the beginning, in which you will highly enjoy it or you will think it’s really stupid. I think the trailer is pretty straight forward in explaining the movie. So if you’re a fan of the trailer or the type of comedy Bad Santa brought, than you will love this movie!
The movie wouldn’t have turned out as good as it did without Jim Carrey. He is your bread and butter. He makes EVERY scene funny and he really embraces the life of Steven. I’d almost have to say that things tend to be funnier when Ewan McGregor isn’t on the screen. Ewan plays Phillip Morris great, but I think it’s the character that just doesn’t bring any more laughter. Whenever Phillip and Steven are together the film tends to take a more serious route. Phillip helps ground Steven in reality and I honestly find it to be much funnier when Steven is coming up with some insane plan to break Phillip out of prison. It’s everything leading up to the breakouts that make it so enjoyable.
I really don’t have any complaints about this movie. It’s hilarious and paced perfectly. It never gets slow and you’re always wondering what scam they’re coming up with next. There’s a scene at the end that just sold me on the whole movie. Carrey really shows the determination and craziness of Steven. I really was worried that the ending was going to bring the movie down, but luckily it didn’t.
I Love You Phillip Morris is a winner in every way that counts. Jim Carrey proves that he still has what it takes to give us a great comedy. Ewan plays a convincing gay and the humor really packs a punch. It’s so sad seeing this movie struggle. It was released overseas last year in theaters and I believe you can already find it on home video as well (overseas), but the US thought the movie would be a little too risky due to its gay content. I found it to be hilarious and I am glad it finally got released. Go and support this movie by all means!
I Love You Phillip Morris – 8.5/10