‘Phillip Morris’ shows a different side to Carrey

“I Love You Phillip Morris” shouldn’t be described just as a romantic comedy, even if all the elements are there. Based on a true story, the film brings to life the characters of Stephen Russell (Jim Carrey) – an adopted conman – and Phillip Morris (Ewan McGregor), Stephen’s prison mate and love interest.


Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor play two gay lovers in "I love you Phillip Morris". Photo: Phillip Morris official

Jim Carrey is well known for his comedy and so isn’t the person that you would ordinarily cast in this type of role. However his portrayal of Stephen is heartfelt and compelling. There is a real chemistry between him and McGregor that is believable throughout as the characters try to make their relationship work.

Carrey provides the comedy while McGregor plays a more subdued role which suits his character better, but both actors play their roles superbly – leading to an on-screen romance that you aren’t prepared to believe.

The film – reminiscent of “Brokeback Mountain” – is charged with a love and a passion that is so strong the relationship is felt by the audience. The ending is not as you would first expect, and I won’t give it away, but because of the emotional intensity, the audience connect with these men and their alternate relationships, sympathising with them throughout.

The script is well written and keeps the audience involved with what’s going on. The comedy keeps the pace moving as there isn’t much action, but the serious parts grab your attention because they stand out and are quite surreal.

One of the film’s faults is the continuous narration from Stephen, which frequently interrupts the plot and slows the pace. However this is made insignificant because the picture is written well as well as being visually dynamic, with bright and bold scenes portraying the characters’ eccentric lifestyle.

After overcoming that the actor from “The Mask” and “Ace Ventura” is largely naked, sweaty, and engaged in a testosterone-fuelled lust-laden affair, the film does still engage the audience on a comedic level. And the casting of McGregor and Carrey is a resounding success.

This film is possibly the bravest and oddest comedy of the year.

One Response to ‘Phillip Morris’ shows a different side to Carrey

  1. Michael Lent says:

    Great review and all, until the end. What is so brave about being in or making a film with gay characters? Gay folks live their lives everyday and never get called brave. It’s only when straight actors play gay.