I Love You Philip Morris (2009)

27 Sep

I can’t be the only person who assumed that “I Love You Phillip Morris” was going to be “Thank You for Smoking“, with Jim Carrey subbed in as the lead.  (BTW, “Thank You For Smoking” is brilliant).

In fact, “I Love You Phillip Morris” has nothing to do with smoking, or cigarettes, or that Philip Morris at all.  It’s the story of a gay former Texas cop, Steven Russell (Jim Carrey) who can’t handle his spending sprees, and commits fraud (after fraud after fraud). This lands him in prison, where he meets inmate Phillip Morris (Ewan McGregor) and falls hopelessly in love.

Steven gets released from prison, but he can’t bear to be away from Phillip, so he concocts a scheme to get Phillip out as well.  The rest of the film plays out Steven’s fraud after fraud after fraud after prison break after prison break, all for the sake of keeping Phillip ever-impressed and living in luxury.

WHO could bear to be separated from this face?

I, too, am hopelessly in love with Ewan McGregor, so I feel for Steven Russell.  Still, this movie felt an awful lot like gay “Catch Me if You Can.”  The film wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t anything super-special either.  Ewan McGregor plays his usual doe-eyed beautiful self.  Jim Carrey doesn’t rely entirely on his rubber face and loud noises, he does some genuine acting here…but ever since “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” everyone knows he can for-real act.

Leslie Mann gave me some good laughs as Steven Russell’s Bible-thumping ex-wife “Debbie” (why are her characters always named “Debbie”?)  She was more goofy and less whiny in this movie, and it was a lot of fun to watch her.

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