Movie Review: I Love You Phillip Morris (2009)

Posted: November 27, 2011 in Drama

i love you phillip morriss


Stephen Russell (Jim Carrey) learns he is adopted as a child, and although hurt by the revelation, decides to make the best of a painful situation.  Stephen gets married to Debbie (Leslie Mann) and becomes a police officer.  But then Stephen realizes he is living a lie, he realizes he is gay.  Stephen moves to Miami, takes up  with a lover named Jimmy, (Rodrigo Santoro) and starts to live the high life.  However, the high life costs a lot, and to keep himself and Jimmy in Omega watches, and fancy clothes, he becomes a con-man, engaging in credit card fraud, and insurance fraud.  In prison, Stephen meets the love his life, Phillip Morris Ewen McGregor) Stephen gets himself and   eventually Phillip out of prison by pretending to be a lawyer.  Not content to be out of prison, Stephen runs another con to become CFO of a medical insurance company. Not content to have the CFO salary, he skims money from the checks the company sends out.  Needless to say, this con lands Stephen in jail, and this time he is in a coma.  Is this the end of Stephen Russell?  Or is there another con on the way?

This is a very hard movie to watch, because the gay theme is always front and center, and for most straight people, seeing gay expressions of love, is hard to take. Aside from that, gays are not portrayed that well in this movie,  Russell is a con-man who seems happiest in jail, where he gets to call the shots and break out every now and then.  Russell, who claims to love Phillip Morris ,but he makes  Morris an unwitting  accomplice, opening Phillip Morris up to jail time.  A person does not do that to the person he loves. Jim Carrey reverts back to his not too brilliant physical comedy, at times I thought I  was watching Ace Ventura.  Even in the more subtle scenes, I thought “Hey, it’s Jim Carrey doing an accent”  Carrey’s been better in the Truman  Show, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, here he seems to be a caricature of himself, playing a stereotypical gay man, flamboyant all the way. McGregor’s character is no better.  He plays the same wide eyed innocent he plays in Big Fish, a much better movie, there is nowhere for the character to go in this movie.  Phillip Morris is a victim, and that’s all McGregor seems to play in this film.  There were a few funny scenes in this movie, but not enough to carry it for over 1 ½ hours. This movie is based on a true story.

I Love You Phillip Morris:  Lots of smoke, no fire.


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