A great event in American history just happened when the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” military policy was repealed. Many consider it a giant step in civil rights for the gay/lesbian community. Maybe if the writers of “Bad Santa”, Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, were pitching their screenplay of “I Love You Phillip Morris” today, rather than a few years ago, they would have had an easier time getting the money to make it.
Based on the book by journalist Steve McVicker, the movie recalls the true story of love between two gay men, Steven Russel (Jim Carrey) and Phillip Morris (Ewan McGregor) who met in a Texas prison. Studios liked many aspects of the story except many wanted to see Phillip turned into a woman. Russel used to be a married man (to Debbie, played my Leslie Mann), but was a closet homosexual for years. After a car accident he comes out of the closet and they divorce. He finds a boyfriend in Florida, but discovers that “being gay is expensive”. He runs several cons and finds himself in jail where he meets Morris. What makes their true story unique is not all the cons Russel continued to pull making himself millions of dollars, it’s the amount of times he escaped from prison, and how he continually came back for his one true love.
This movie is a departure from the roles Jim Carrey usually plays. He speaks with a Southern accent and just looks so comfortable in this new role that you can’t help, but to like his character. Ewan McGregor is so sweet in his role, and somehow manages to outshine Carrey. There are some fine laughs in the movie and many moments when there is nothing. This is the first directing project of the two writers and you can’t help to notice how uneven the directing is in this movie. While they may have been on the same page when they write a screenplay together, they appear very far apart when directing.
Many writers desire to direct. They want creative control of their work all the way to the end and many go on to become successful directors. It’s not difficult to imagine that neither writer wanted to give up the director’s chair to the other, since the director usually receives more glory than the writer. Whichever the reason it doesn’t serve this movie at all. It is rated R for strong sexual content and language. It can be seen in the following theaters starting Christmas Day.
Miami Beach, FL
Sunset Place 24
South Miami, FL
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Delray Beach, FL
Boca Raton, FL