Tag Archives: Ewan McGregor

I Love You, Phillip Morris

9 Aug

There is something about I Love You, Phillip Morris that is hard to pin down. It’s part camp comedy, engaging love story, tragedy and conman whirligig, all thrown into one extraordinary film.

It follows the life of Steven Russell (Jim Carrey) who we meet while he lies in the hospital dying (not as an old man, surprisingly). He narrates his crazy adventures as a closet gay man, openly gay conman, prison inmate and escape artist. His flashback narration catches up with the narrative and I was swept forward, wondering what he could possibly have in store for the audience next.

Ewan McGregor is the title character, a naïve and adorable gay inmate with whom Russell is besotted.

At first it is difficult to believe Carrey and McGregor’s onscreen chemistry, as both are such familiar faces from films like Ace Ventura and, of all things, Star Wars. It is testament to their talents though that eventually their melodramatic love affair becomes real to the audience.

The film is directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa. John Requa also wrote the screen play, as he did for that great hit Bad Santa (oh, Billy Bob was such a champ in that!). The most amazing part about this film must be that it happened. “It actually did.” I was gobsmacked when I realised near the end of the film that yes, I had actually heard of Russell, but please don’t google him before you see the film! The directors show us all sides of Steven Russell, some of which is not comfortable to watch. Carrey portrays Russell’s search for himself expertly and uses his cheeky grin and devilish eyes to keep the audience guessing what is and is not real.

Ewans McGregor’s performance is equally good. His wide-eyed innocence and capacity to smile with those beautiful white teeth won me over immediately. I kept hoping throughout the film that he wouldn’t get hurt, so protective I became over him.

This film will definitely not make for a dull night! It takes the best aspects of Man on the Moon, Matchstick Men and Down with Love, but is astonishingly a true story. You might hate it, but I’m willing to bet that you will most probably, after trying to pin it down like me, love it.Directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, Starring: Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor.