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1/12/12

I LOVE YOU PHILLIP MORRIS - REVIEW


Although it's based on a true story, I Love You Philip Morris feels about as real as Avatar. The gay Jim Carrey/Ewan McGregor pair-up is surreal enough but the conman story itself is pretty unbelievable and would be right at home in a Coen Brothers film. The tone of the film is extremely whimsical and goes for a lighthearted, modern feel mixing a Jim Carrey-type comedy similar to Fun With Dick and Jane with a gay prison rom-com setting. Although the film is undeniably funny in places thanks entirely to Jim Carrey, who clearly has a ball pretending to be a lawyer, jumping down escalators and being generally camp, it just doesn't feel sincere on the whole.

The twists and turns of the compelling story are well handled and unpredictable but the dialogs feel ridiculously artificial. Characters speak "movie speak" instead of speaking like real people and it makes the Carrey/McGregor love story hard to believe and truly care about. It doesn't help that, once again, Ewan McGregor's lack of charisma and presence manages to turn a potentially sweet and loveable character into a wet noodle (see Big Fish, The Island or The Men Who Stare At Goats for further examples). This is pretty much how not to make a good film about a gay topic: cast two straight guys who have no real chemistry between them, have lots of gay stereotypes thrown in (little dogs, fishnet panties), AIDS and a main character you should like and kinda do but essentially don't really understand because he's a greedy, lying, selfish scumbag.

I Love You Philip Morris is a fun film and has a great story at its heart but it's just not a convincing rom-com.

Full marks go to Jim Carrey though for trying very hard, kissing Ewan and pulling off one of the worst haircuts since Johnny Depp's Willy Wonka.


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