Steven Russell is happily married to Debbie, and a member of the local police force when a car accident provokes a dramatic reassessment of his life. Steven becomes open about his homosexuality and decides to live life to the fullest - even if it means breaking the law. Steven's new, extravagant lifestyle involves cons and fraud and, eventually, a stay in the State Penitentiary where he meets sensitive, soft-spoken Phillip Morris. His devotion to freeing Phillip from jail and building the perfect life together prompts Steven to attempt and often succeed at one impossible con after another.Written by
The Film Catalogue
Steven tells Phillip that Friday the 13th is his lucky day. Several of the key events of the movie are shown happening on Friday 13th. See more »
When Steven Russell is working at the deli, the customer pays with a newer five dollar bill that wasn't introduced until Series 1999. The film takes place in the early or mid 1990s. See more »
[Over the phone, to Steve]
I'm still angry with you, but there's something I-I-I want you to know. Even if sometimes I don't know who you are... I love you. I never stopped loving you. I guess you and me are just fools for love or something - 'written in the stars' or some crap like that - but it was never better than with you, Steve. Never more real. And now I realize all that crazy shit you did in your own fucked up way was always for me, always for us. You're the most amazing man. You take my...
See more »
The very end of the credits has a list of Thank Yous. The last two items on the list are Redbull and Xanax. See more »
There's really only one thing you need to ask yourself before you see this movie: are you prepared to see Jim Carrey getting it on with Ewan MacGregor? If so, you should definitely go.
The movie tells the true story—and trust me, you'll have trouble believing it's true—of Steven Russell, a gay man who just can't stop conning his way through life. He uses his extraordinary abilities to gain a variety of jobs, gets indicted for embezzlement, and wins the love of the titular Phillip Morris while the two are fellow inmates in prison.
"I Love You Phillip Morris" was written and directed by Glen Ficarra and John Requa, the same writing team responsible for "Bad Santa". Like "Bad Santa", this movie effectively balances humor and with some very dark themes, though I would say the overall tone is not nearly as bleak as that of the earlier movie.
The writers told the Nashville audience that when choosing material to include from Steve McVicker's nonfiction book, they decided they primarily wanted to tell the love story. They do so very successfully. You might even call this the perfect romantic comedy for people who hate traditional romantic comedies: it's homo- rather than hetero-oriented, it's non-fiction, and it features a somewhat off-kilter con man as the romantic lead. Sounds bizarre, sure, and yet all these elements come together to make a really entertaining movie.
For the most part Jim Carrey loses himself in the character of Steven Russell, delivering an effectively non-hammy (and non-Carrey) comic performance. MacGregor's Phillip Morris is also believably innocent, Southern, and wide-eyed. Nice supporting performances, such as Leslie Mann's as Russell's ex-wife Deb, round out the movie.
Much of the romance takes place in prison, and this creates many beautifully absurd scenes. The movie also has its fair share of sad moments, and contains a pretty clear message about social justice in Texas -- as did the book-- but this is kept mercifully subtle, underlying rather than overshadowing the story.
The directors said they hoped the movie would make spectators laugh, cry and think, and the Nashville audience seemed to do all three. There were a lot of laughs but some definite sniffles at the appropriate moments. At the Q&A, there was a fair amount of interest in the real story, and Ficarra, McVicker, and Requa were happy to oblige with further information.
Come to think of it, you may not have to worry about seeing the two leads have sex. Although the love scenes were kept technically PG, the directors were expecting a fight with the MPAA because of the homosexual content. That's a real pity, but I hope they win.
175 of 248 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this