I Love You Phillip Morris (2009)

36.

★★★★

Directed by: Glenn Ficarra, John Requa
Written by: John Requa, Glenn Ficarra
Starring: Jim Carrey, Ewan McGregor and Leslie Mann

It takes something a little bit radical and special to make a romantic film original. Boy meets girl, worst enemies turned soulmates, young and beautiful – the tried and tested have been exhausted for years. I Love You Phillip Morris, on the other hand, matches up Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor as a gay couple in prison. Suffice to say, it doesn’t get much more radical and special than that.

Who woulda thunk it?

Based on true events, I Love You Phillip Morris injects humorous antics and heartwarming tunes into the story of Steven Russell – a Texan cop who finds his one true love in a prison cell, jumping through hoops and doing just about anything so they can be together.

While no one would have thought this casting decision could ever be pulled off, Carrey and McGregor are convincing in their representation of a couple who cannot give up on each other, no matter how crazy and difficult the situation can become. On the surface, I Love You Phillip Morris appears as flamboyant and OTT as Jim Carrey himself – showing off homosexual couples as extravagant and hypersexual. But balanced with the sensitivity and subtle charm of Ewan McGregor as Steven’s shy and sweet counterpart, Phillip Morris, I Love You Phillip Morris carries a tone that is both enjoyably fun and touching at the same time.

Despite it’s comedic quirks, I Love You Phillip Morris develops characters with universal and deeply human qualities of loneliness, desire and yearning that just about anyone can relate to.

 

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