I Love You Phillip Morris Review
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Itís been a long road for I Love You Phillip Morris. Since premiering at Sundance in 2009, Jim Carreyís dark and quirky comedy has been making the rounds, opening pretty much everywhere but back home in the States. But now, after nearly two years, itís finally getting a limited releaseówith a side order of Oscar buzz.

Written and directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa (who also wrote the dark holiday favorite Bad Santa), I Love You Phillip Morris tells a stranger-than-fiction real-life story. Born with a gift for lying, scamming, and otherwise covering stuff up, Steven Russell (Carrey) has been hiding one big, important secret from his sugary-sweet wife, Debbie (Leslie Mann): heís gay. But after heís almost killed in a car accident, he decides to stop lying once and for all. So he comes out, moves to Florida, and starts enjoying his fabulous new gay lifestyle.

Unfortunately, though, Steven soon finds that being fabulously gay is expensive, so he starts conning people to pay the bills. And when his scheming finally lands him in prison, he meets the love of his life, Phillip Morris (Ewan McGregor). From the moment they meet, Steven vows to do everything to make Phillip happyówhether that means fighting to get him released from prison or conning his way to an even more fabulous lifestyle. But itís only a matter of time before heís caught in yet another lie.

I Love You Phillip Morris is a flamboyantly entertaining comedy that never quite goes where you expect it to go. And thatís the real fun of it: you never know what kind of craziness Steven will try nextówhat kind of stunt heíll pull or who heíll pretend to be. So if you donít already know Steven Russellís story, I highly recommend that you avoid reading anything about him until after youíve seen the movieóbecause itís best if you donít know whatís coming (or how the story ends).

An admitted liar and conman, Steven may not be an admirable character, but heís so clever and so recklessly devoted to Phillip that you canít help but like himóor at least enjoy watching him in action. And he has such a distinctively wry and witty voice that you wonít even mind the frequent narration. In fact, youíll look forward to itóbecause his deadpan observations give the story such an unusually amusing perspective.

Of course, Carrey's entertaining performance doesnít hurt, either. Though (as you might expect) he goes a little over-the-top, he rarely goes too far. Instead, he creates a kooky character with a flair for the unexpected.

Meanwhile, McGregor is absolutely adorable as sweet, trusting Southern boy Phillip. His is the kind of gay character that you rarely see in movies: a shy, sensitive, innocent character, as opposed to the stereotypically flashy and flamboyant one.

Though the oddly meandering story could have used a little more direction, this eccentric dark comedy has more than enough zany real-life surprises to keep you on your toes. I wouldnít necessarily recommend breaking out of prison to see itóbut if it happens to be showing at a theater near you, itís worth conning someone you love into taking you to see it.

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