The Con Man Who Wouldn't Go Straight. I LOVE YOU PHILLIP MORRIS
Apr 11, 2011 (Updated Jun 15, 2012)
Review by Mark Vaughan
Rated a Very Helpful Review
User Rating: Excellent
Bang For The Buck
Pros:Funny, witty, intelligent, and passionate. Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor.
Cons:Not exactly what I call positive gay role models.
The Bottom Line: Who said the road to True Love ever ran smooth? But these guys have more problems than any couple since Romeo and Juliet.
Six stars, all the way.
I Love You Phillip Morris (2009) Directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa
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Phillip Morris: Did you pay to have the Screecher beat up?
Steven Russell: Me?
Phillip Morris: Don't bull$#!+ me. Did you pay to have him beat up?
Steven Russell: You hate that guy.
Phillip Morris: Just answer the question.
Steven Russell: Yeah. Yeah I did.
Phillip Morris: Steven.... [crying] That is the most romantic thing that anyone ever did for me. I love you so much.
Steven Russell: I just want you to be happy, baby.
Phillip Morris: You are my true soul mate.
Love is where you find it. Steven Russell (Jim Carrey) was a man shaped by lies. He was adopted. Personally, I think that proves the wonderful love of your chosen parents, but Steven was driven to discover why he was given up. It was part of what made him become a police officer; the ability to abuse his power to find out where he came from. And he did discover his birth mother. It did not go well. Steven was the *middle* child of three. She kept the other two. That's rough.
The second Lie that shaped Steven Russell was his own. He married Debbie (Leslie Mann) and had children. But Steven Russell is gay. It took an auto accident to shake him out of his complacent suburban life, and into a whole new one, with a new partner, Jimmy (Rodrigo Santoro) and a whole new set of problems. "But I soon realized something I had never thought about before. Actually, nobody ever mentions it, but...being gay is *really* expensive."
And thus started the insurance fraud and credit card scams. And it is sort of inevitable that Steven Russell would end up in jail. I loved his tour of the new fish on the block; it's nice to have the rules explained to you.
But in prison, something happened. He met Phillip Morris (Ewan McGregor). And it was love at first sight. As previously stated, love is where you find it.
It is very significant that at first all of Steven's considerable IQ 163 skills are aimed at getting him in the same cell with Phillip. It is not until he is released that he turns his attention to getting Phillip out. How does he do that? Well, he is a lawyer, isn't he? (The answer here is technically NO.) So, he secures Phillip's early release. Then he forges his way into the position of CFO of North American Medical Management. How does a man whose only professional training is as a cop run a multibillion dollar company? Um, quite well, actually. So well, profits were so far up, they almost didn't notice the $800,000 he embezzled. They lived a faery tale life; the only down side being the fact they had to keep their relationship a secret at work, and the amount of time the job actually consumed. But it caught up with them again. Now begins the revolving door period, where Steven escapes, repeatedly, from prison, trying to get back to Phillip. The man is nothing if not creative....
How does it end? Can I reveal that without spoiling things? No. Ultimately, I can't. So, here instead, let's talk about the movie. Why would anyone want to watch a movie about an insane serial escapist who can't stop himself from stealing, escaping, or getting back to the man he loves? Well, I think anyone who likes a good movie. It has everything. Humor, pathos, drama, twists, turns, misdirections. Is Steven Russell damaged goods? Oh, absolutely. There is some sociopathic element to his personality; otherwise, he could stop. Yet we like him. Not because he is a con man, but because his motivations are so...pure. He wants to provide the love of his life the perfect life. Now, his methods...that's where the problems come in. Jim Carrey is probably the only person who could pull this role off; it is essential you realize what a complete and unmitigated crook Steven is, but also essential that you like him. I really can't see anyone else pulling this off. And of course, you have to believe with all your heart that he would do anything to be with the love of his life, Phillip Morris. Ewan McGregor is perfect for the role, because what would most of us do to be with him? It scares me to contemplate it.
And there is the real crux of the movie. We *can* put ourselves in these men's places. We can feel their pain, their passion, their utter frustration that the law just won't *quit it!*
But why would anyone watch a movie about a gay con man who literally called from prison impersonating a judge to have his bail reduced from $900,000 to $45, 000? Who would ever write such a collection of absurdities and improbabilities that stretch our credibility and sense of disbelief?
Well, here is the kicker. Steven Jay Russell is real. His prisoner number is # 00760259 and he is eligible for release July 12, 2140. Not 2040. 2140. Phillip Morris is real. Their story is real. Yes, North American Medical Management's CFO had no degree, no background, embezzled $800,000 and made the company a hundred times that. You can't make this stuff up.
This Twist Tale of Love is American Made, and entered in the Made in the USA Write Off
Naked Boys Singing! ***I Love You Phillip Morris ***Gone, But Not Forgotten ***Chris and Don: A Love Story ***For The Bible Tells Me So ***Pornography: A Thriller ***Shock to the System: A Donald Strachey Mystery ***Soldier's Girl ***Caravaggio ***Plan B ***On the Other Hand, Death: A Donald Strachey Mystery ***Howl***Third Man Out: A Donald Strachey Mystery ***The Consequences ***Humpday***Fixing Frank***C.R.A.Z.Y. ***Ice Blues: A Donald Strachey Mystery***La Mission***Burnt Money***8: The Mormon Propo$ition***In The Flesh***The Sensei***The 24th Day***Wrangler: Anatomy of an Icon***ZMD: Zombies of Mass Destruction***East Side Story***Dorian Blues***Creatures From the Pink Lagoon***Satyricon***Ice Men***Richard O'Briens Rocky Horror Tribute Show***Prom Queen***The Kids are All Right***Between Love and Goodbye***The Mudge Boy***That Man: Peter Berlin***A Single Man***Almost Normal***Outing Riley***Outrage!***Law of Desire***Love is the Devil***Cowboy Junction***Horror in the Wind***Bedrooms and Hallways***Cut Sleeve Boys***Big Eden***For A Lost Soldier***Midnight Cowboy***Redwoods***The Massuer***Boy Culture***Breakfast With Scot***The Fluffer***Flesh***Little Ashes***L.I.E. ***Dorian Gray***9 Dead Gay Guys***Shank***I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry***Beautiful Boxer***Bangkok Love Story***Schoolboy Crush***Shelter***Back Soon***Dog Tags***Theft***The Mulligans***The Velvet Goldmine***Swashbuckler***Smoke Signals
***C'Thulhu***Milk***The Picture of Dorian Gray***Brideshead Revisited***Notes on a Scandal***RocknRolla***Mamma Mia!
***Priscillia: Queen of the Desert***The History Boys***Brokeback Mountain***The Broken Hearts Club*** Yaji and Kita: Midnight Pilgrims ***Surge of Power ***In & Out ***Mambo Italiano ***Touch of Pink ***To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar ***Wolves of Kromer ***Rocky Horror Picture Show ***Taboo ***Deathtrap
Gay Themed Series:
Spartacus: Gods of the Arena
Spartacus: Blood and Sand
Carnivale Season One
Carnivale Season Two
Rome Season One
Rome Season Two
True Blood: Season Two
The Book of Daniel: The Complete Series
Torchwood: Children of Earth
Torchwood: Season Two
Torchwood: Season One
Pirate's Booty***Sensitive Pornograph***Loveless: The Complete Series***Loveless: Hope on the Run***Loveless: Soul of Chains***Loveless: Lost and Found***Embracing Love: A Cicada in Winter***Embracing Love: Cherished Spring ***Stonewall & Riot***Drawn Together Movie: The Movie***Drawn Together: Season 2***Drawn Together: Season 3
Read all comments (2)
Movie Mood: Feel-good Movie
Film Completeness: Looked complete to me.
Worst Part of this Film: Nothing
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