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I Love You Phillip Morris


Stars: Jim Carrey, Ewan McGregor, Leslie Mann, Rodrigo Santoro

Director: Glenn Ficarra, John Requa

There's offbeat, there's strange, there's off-the-wall, there's barking mad, and then there's I Love You Phillip Morris. Veering wildly between comedy and tragedy, from one opposing emotion to another, the film, like a rollercoaster ride where the participants keep falling off, relates the bizarre true story of Steven Russell (Carrey with a haircut that recalls the prissier styles of Dimitar Berbatov).

Married with a daughter, Steven is a policeman and closet gay, resorting to cons and scams to aggressively pursue his alternative liferstyle, one of which eventually lands him in prison. Here he falls heavily for dewy-eyed Phillip (McGregor) who returns his affections, leading Steven to resort to elaborate ruses to a) get in the same cell, and b) free Phillip altogether.

An intricate series of forged references lands him a plum job as finance director to a large firm, but he's unable to resist stealing to maintain his and Phillip's pampered existence in a mansion-style home. Rumbled, and spurned by a deceived Phillip, Steven flees but is soon back in jail, where a final act in the jaw-dropping charade is soon under way.

Carrey is very odd casting as Steven, but presumably the producers wanted to steer the film as often as possible into the realm of comedy. All in all, the star does pretty well with a nigh-on impossible character, while McGregor gives one of his better performances as the conman's inamorata.

David Quinlan

USA 2009. UK Distributor: E1 Entertainment. Colour.
97 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 2, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 2.

Review date: 16 Mar 2010