by David Schuster
Smack dab in the middle of seeing some real good and great movies like “Black Swan”, “The Fighter”, The King’s Speech” and “True Grit” I decided to take a chance and see “I Love You Phillip Morris”. I honestly had no idea what this movie was about. The only thing I knew was that Jim Carrey was in it and he was worth the risk. At least that was my thought going in but after seeing it I’m not so sure. Maybe the first sign that this was at least a semi dud was that I was (literally) the only person in the theater. Normally I yearn for something like this because there is no one there to annoy me and I can make whatever noises I want…even sleep.
Usually in the second paragraphs of my critiques I like to give a brief synopsis of the movie but even after seeing it I’m not sure I can…but I’ll try. This was one strange flick that started in one direction and did a u-turn about thirty minutes in. Carrey starts off as a police officer in a small Georgia town, happily married and with a daughter. But one day he just decides to move to Texas and the next thing you know he has turned into a con man.
A con man that has come out of the closet so subtract the wife from the equation. Carrey eventually gets arrested and goes to prison where he meets Phillip Morris who becomes his lover. They eventually get out of the slammer and he goes right back into the con game industry until he eventually gets arrested again.
I will give Carrey some credit for tackling a role that not many would have the guts to perform but the movie is so erratic that you’re not sure if it’s meant to be a pure comedy, a black comedy or a drama. The funny or not so funny thing is that this movie is based on a true character (Steven Russell) who is now serving a life sentence after escaping from jail on four separate occasions.
Ewan McGregor plays the other central character in this movie (Phillip Morris) and I guess he was good but by the time he came on screen I really couldn’t have cared less. This was like a blowout game with the home team down a ton and you kept asking yourself, should I stay until the end or beat the traffic? Being as how it would have been hard to write a review if I walked out I gutted it out myself.
I wont call this a terrible movie because there was some good lines and Carrey is always at least semi amusing. But my guess is that he took liberties with the script and did a lot of ad-libbing. And did I mention that this movie was disjointed and all over the place? Well it was. I know that some people will be gaga over a movie like this but I’m not one of them. My rating- RBI single – one and a half stars for “I Love Phillip Morris