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DVD Review: I Love You, Phillip Morris

April 26, 2011

I Love You, Phillip Morris – An Alliance Films’ Release

DVD Release Date: April 19th, 2010

Rated 14A for violence, coarse language and sexual content

Running time: 98 minutes

Glenn Ficarra (dir.)

John Requa (dir.)

John Requa (writer)

Glenn Ficarra (writer)

Based on a book by Steven McVicker

Nick Urata (music)

Jim Carrey as Steven Russell

Ewan McGregor as Phillip Morris

Leslie Mann as Debbie

Rodrigo Santoro as Jimmy

Our reviews below:


I Love You, Phillip Morris DVD Review By John C.

**1/2 (out of 4)

Over the opening scene of I Love You, Phillip Morris, we are told that the movie is based on true events.  The fact that credibility will be stretched to the near-breaking point is a guarantee.  Steven Russell (Jim Carrey) has a wife (Leslie Mann) and a daughter, but when he gets jailed for financial fraud he falls in love with an introverted inmate, Phillip Morris (Ewan McGregor).  Turning to crime to create the perfect life for him and Phillip, Steven’s con games become elaborate and increasingly illegal.

It often feels like we are watching two seperate movies.  One is a crude over-the-top comedy, and the other is a somewhat serious true story of a con man finding true love for the first time.  As each side of the story can be entertaining in its own right, the uneven tone sometimes does work.  But I also found this odd juxtaposition to be somewhat off-putting.  Jim Carrey turns in a strong leading performance in his own right and does provide some geuninely funny scenes, but like the whole movie walks a thin line between caricature and believability.

The DVD includes commentary, a “making-of” featurette, deleted scenes and several trailers for the film.


I Love You, Phillip Morris DVD Review by Erin V.  

**3/4 (out of 4)

In I Love You Phillip Morris, Jim Carrey plays con-man Steven Russell who discovers after a car accident, that the life he’s living might not be the life he dreams of.  So he leaves his wife and child for another man, and later finds himself in jail, completely enamoured with fellow jail-mate Phillip Morris (Ewan McGregor).

This is a bit of an off-the-wall movie, although it boasts to be based, (at least partially), on a true story.  It often works as a comedy, although it sometimes takes things a little far – as well as far-fetched.  Jim Carrey plays the role well though, as does Ewan McGregor, and it is worth watching for them.  Still, a rental should be sufficient for many rather than owning.


I Love You, Phillip Morris DVD Review By Nicole

*** (out of 4)

How far would you go to be with the person of your dreams?  I Love You, Phillip Morris tells the ridiculously true story of one man who went to great lengths to be with the one he loves.  Steven Russell (Jim Carrey) was just an ordinary Texas family man, with a wife (Leslie Mann) and great kids.  Problem was, he kept living a lie.  Turns out he was actually gay, so he leaves his wife to live a new life.  Steven, new to the gay man’s world, is under the misconception that gay guys are supposed to be rich and flamboyant.

So he pulls off a con to pay for his new extravagent lifestyle.  He gets caught of course, but when things seem bad, he meets the man of his dreams in prison, Phillip Morris (Ewan McGregor).  After they get released from jail, they proceed to live a life together as a couple.  But Steven’s addiction to material things leads him to pull off more cons, which land him back in prison.  Now seperated from Phillip, he goes to elaborate lengths, even harming his own body, to break out of prison.

I Love You, Phillip Morris is both a funny and remarkable true story.  While nowhere near as good as the film Catch Me if You Can, it is full of surprises.  Jim Carrey captures the somewhat insane yet brilliant character of Steven Russell.  The film takes a critical look at our society’s obsession with materialism, and the toll it takes on the ones we love.  This is a really interesting film that is worth checking out.


I Love You, Phillip Morris DVD Review By Maureen

**1/2 (out of 4)

Sometimes love is found in the strangest of places.  Part drama, but mostly dark comedy, I Love You, Phillip Morris is not your traditional love story.  Jim Carrey plays Steven Russell, a police officer with a devoted wife (Leslie Mann), a family and a respectable like.  That is until he makes some questionable choices that land him in jail.  It’s there that he meets Phillip Morris (Ewan McGregor) and their love story begins.

Jim Carrey is at his typical over-the-top brilliant manic in his role.  Depending on how you feel about Carrey you’ll either love him or hate him in this movie.  The mood in I Love You, Phillip Morris changes rapidly, sweet one moment, really funny the next then dark and not so nice.  Ewan McGregor’s performance as the more subdued Phillip Morris provides a nice balance to the over-the-top feel of the movie.

Due to the subject matter and the somewhat explicit sexual scenes this movie won’t appeal to everyone, particularly those expecting a light Jim Carrey comedy.  However those interested in a different kind of love story, supposedly inspired by a true story will want to check it out and see what all the buzz is about when this premiered at Sundance in 2009.


I Love You, Phillip Morris DVD Review By Tony

***1/2 (out of 4)

I Love You Phillip Morris is the latest Jim Carrey vehicle, based apparently on a remarkable true story. Carrey plays Steven Russell, who parted amicably with his wife (Leslie Mann) to pursue an expensive gay lifestyle supported by various cons. Following a relationship with Jimmy (Rodrigo Santoro), Russell was imprisoned for embezzling where he found the eponymous love of his life, sweetly played by Ewan McGregor. Russell would pull any con, both in and out of prison, to keep them together.

Con-man stories are usually fun despite the questionable ethics of their clever antiheroes. Some of my favourites have been The Flim-Flam Man with George C. Scott and (recently deceased) Michael Sarrazin, Catch Me If You Can, The Brothers Bloom and recently $5 a Day with Christopher Walken. Adding the outrageous and often crude humour of an openly gay protagonist (though free of nudity), mixed at times with poignancy, is something I can imagine only Jim Carrey can pull off, which he of course does.  I may never listen to Johnny Mathis the same way again.


Consensus: With good leading work from Jim Carrey, I Love You, Phillip Morris is an interesting look at the life of a con man, however the mix of dark comedy and more serious themes won’t be for everybody. **3/4 (Out of 4)

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