I Love You Phillip Morris Movie Review
Steven (Carrey) is a pillar of society with a wife (Mann) and family who one day has an epiphany: he can now be himself, a gay man who doesn't follow the rules. He uses brainy, charming bravado to con his way to wealth, which lands him in prison. This is where he meets nice-guy Phillip (McGregor), the love of his life. So Steven launches a series of increasingly elaborate scams to get Phillip released and then to escape from prison himself so they can be together.
Actually, the word "elaborate" barely describes the things Steven does. This is one of those stories that could only be true, because on-screen it seems completely unbelievable. Meanwhile, Ficarra and Requa continually subvert our expectations with playful dialog, witty sight-gags and droll editing, turning this story into a sunny comedy with a shadowy undercurrent of jagged humour.
For example, Steven and Phillip's big romantic moment takes place while there's a riot in the next cell.
Carrey and McGregor dive in completely to the characters, mixing broad slapstick with more introspective moments. The script kind of hedges around the details of the characters, which is rather appropriate in a film about a conman, although it also leaves it feeling strangely cold. For example, it's never clear that Steven justifies stealing all this money to get even with the insurance company that let another boyfriend (played by Santoro) die of Aids without the treatment he needed. Which is what really happened.
That said, it's refreshing to see an outrageously entertaining story like this in which the fact that the central characters are gay is never the point (although you could also argue that, thematically, it's the only point). This is simply a never-sentimentalised story about two people trying to be together against the odds and the lengths one of them goes simply to be in a room together. And beneath all of the wackiness, these are real people we can vividly identify with.
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