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3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 2 July 2010
I consider 'I Love You, Phillip Morris' almost too good to be true. Stellar leads Ewan McGregor and Jim Carrey portray two gay inmates falling head over heels in love with each other. Not letting themselves be hampered by the ever prevalent prison boundaries, they manage to establish a real relationship. Their love encounters highlights as well as mental blows, separations, quarrels and setbacks, both in and out of prison. It is a delight to watch both actors in their gay role. Jim Carrey is the self assured, loud mouthed drama queen, while Ewan Mc Gregor plays a rather introvert, insecure and - a touch - effeminate man. It was with Ewan I sympathised most. I saw Ewan McGregor star in many different roles. Never in a gay one. He deserves 10 out of 10 for his efforts. For me he came out on top. He radiated goodness and comfort in an ugly and unfriendly environment. Please, also note the score. It's as light as a summer breeze. It certainly takes away the roughest edges of the prison-institute.
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on 2 November 2011
To cut to the chase, I really liked this film.

I'm not going to go into massive detail about plot or anything like that, but it's very, very good. It made me laugh, and it made me cry, so it has a lot going for it.

Two things I'd like to make known though to those who might be considering watching this film:

1 - The reviews on the cover that suggest that it's 'Non-stop laughs' or 'hilarious' are way off the mark. In general, I 'laughed out loud' about 6 times throughout the film (that's still pretty good though). It's NOT a comedy film (generally speaking) and is not what you might be expecting if you like other Jim Carey films. It's a love story, and is centered around two gay men. It's one of those film's where you get very attached to the main character, and I found myself getting annoyed with the main characters inability to stay out of prison.

2) Having read the few reviews which didn't think much of this film: The majority of them seem to be mothers who ignored the age warning and then didn't like what they saw, deeming the contents to be inappropriate. The rest seem to be borderline homophobes, who didn't appreciate seeing two men having sex. As others have said, had this been a heterosexual love story I'm sure these reviewers wouldn't have bothered to write such drivel.
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on 5 April 2010
Following a near-fatal car accident Steve Russell, apparently happily married, re-assesses his life and decides it's about time he got out of the closet and lived his life to the full. Pretty soon though he comes to the painful realisation that 'although nobody talks about it: being gay is pretty expensive!' and turns to a life of petty crime (mainly insurance fraud) to sustain his lifestyle. When reality catches up, he is sent to jail where he falls in love with Phillip Morris.

What could appear at first as just another silly rom-com, really takes another dimension once you know that the story is an accurate depiction of real characters and events. Yes Steve Russel is a con-man with delusion of grandeur and no sense of reality, but he's also a romantic character whose (misguided) determination to live a great love story at all cost is difficult to resist.

Although not a fan of Jim Carrey, I thought he was achieving a good mix of silliness and depth and Ewan McGregor was effortlessly cute and touching, although a bit stretched in scenes that demanded gravitas and heartfelt emotions.

So all in all, this is a charming movie, quite funny at times too, and which is smart enough to treat the homosexuality of the main leads as a mere fact of life rather than some controversial plot device. Well done you.
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The movie is really good, very very funny, one of those movies that has you laughing and crying and leaving the cinema with a big giddy grin on your face. Jim Carrey overplays it at times, but it's Jim Carrey, so you kinda expect that - and Ewan McGregor is just adorable. I wanted to take him home and stroke him and feed him tea and crumpets he's so cute. And there's a scene near the end, where he's in his cell crying, and oh, he just broke my heart.

And what I really like about it is that it's not a 'gay movie'. I mean, sure, Ewan and Jim Carrey play gay lovers, but it's not about that. It's not like Brokeback Mountain where being gay was the plot. This is a romantic comedy about a con man who just happens to be gay. You could have replaced Ewan with a female lead, and it would have been more or less the same movie, with the same plot and the same message. I like that. It's about bloody time.
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 15 April 2014
I Love You Phillip Morris is a unique film; I have never seen any other where it can move you to tears - because this is how moving Ewan McGregor is in one scene in particular - and have this so close to very funny things going on. Yet it hits both notes in a very real way. The plot is preposterous, some of the details are in quite bad taste, yet it is apparently what actually happened to Steven Russell who was, as the time of filming, still in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day for - again apparently - having run rings around the legal system in Texas. As the ultimate con-man he had posed as a lawyer, top finance executive, terminal Aids patient, and many other things, at one point passing out through the prison infirmary doors by dyeing his uniform the right colour using multiple ink cartridges ... Part of the effect lies in the incredulity one feels in watching these schemes one after another, given brilliant comic projection by Jim Carrey. At the same time it is a gay love story between him and Phillip Morris, a sweet man he meets in prison, and is really quite touching in these terms.

This leads you to ask why Russell felt the need to go on with this - after all, he seemed genuinely to love Morris and would always come back to him like a maximum strength magnet even if it meant exposing himself to possible arrest. All one can say is, he did, a bit like addicts of other kinds. At times the film feels too vulgar but this is all part of the effect. Linked to this is the fact that it feels a bit unmoored, not to say unhinged, in that it shows the world too much through the eyes of Russell, who has a narrative voice-over. Ewan McGregor is fantastic and gives the film its real heart, however his character is too much a passive victim to anchor the film at all. Without intending to, it comes across as a critique of American life in that it has no aesthetic value at all (emphasised by rather grating music) and shows a lifestyle based on money that is really quite vacuous, except that the love does seem very real. It now seems comparable to Behind The Candelabra in terms of the extravagance and also the psychology of the central relationship, but that film has a better perspective on what it shows. It may be partly because Liberace was more normal, as shown, than Russell in this film. Nevertheless the anarchic spirit makes it a bit like a tornado in a super-luxury fast food outlet.
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on 29 March 2010
This is the best movie I have seen in a long time! And the three times I've seen it at the cinema attest to that! Both Ewan and Carrey were perfect. This movie is about love, and about a man who loves so fiercely, he is willing to do anything. That giddy grin will stay with me for a long time, and I can't wait for this movie to come out on DVD. Bravo to all involved! Watch this movie, buy this movie and enjoy!! x
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on 9 February 2012
I Love You Phillip Morris opens with the cheeky preface "This Really Happened" rather than the normal "Based on a True Story" or the standard "Inspired by Actual Events" a creative decision that playfully prepares audiences for the sheer lunacy they're about to witness.

In exploiting the more preposterous aspects of Steve Russell's (Jim Carey) incredible career as a con man, I Love You Phillip Morris the director and screenwriters have created the perfect cinematic vehicle to showcase the diverse talents of comedy icon Carrey, whose flair for drama has been gradually catching up with his killer comic timing ever since he stunned audiences into silence in The Cable Guy back in 1996. Carrey's portrayal of Russell sits so comfortably alongside his previous roles in films like Me, Myself & Irene, Liar Liar, and Yes Man that if it weren't for the fact that the film told you it was a true story at the beginning, the story could easily be believed as a farce.

The film makers seem more interested in milking the story for comedy rather than attempting anything serious or thoughtful with the material, but when dealing with a subject like Russell, absurdity and comedy just seems to be the right way to go. Still, Carrey handles the dramatic beats in I Love You Phillip Morris with enough conviction to hold his own opposite McGregor, who is captivating in his role as the timid inmate who quickly falls for Russell's disarming charisma.

Much like Steve Russell at that crucial crossroads that nudged him into a life of crime, I Love You Phillip Morris never feels like it really knows what it wants to be. But this lack of direction doesn't ruin the film at all because it's Russell's talent for BS and Carrey's ability to play the character so naturally and believably that ensure that our attention stays riveted to the story, even after it becomes apparent that the filmmakers aren't interested in much more than playing Russell's extraordinary life story for laughs. Very enjoyable indeed.
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on 2 August 2010
This is the sort of gay movie that has been sorely lacking from mainstream cinema until now. Movies such as Brokeback Mountain, A Single Man and Milk focus on the loneliness, fight for acceptance and struggle against persecution that gay people have and still face in their lives, and while most definitely important and moving movies, you watch them with the knowledge that your heart will break and you will be emotionally exhausted upon movie's end. I Love You Phillip Morris is the antidote! It's a genuinely hilarious romantic comedy that just happens to be between two gay men. It doesn't linger on the fact or make an issue of it, it just gets on with being sweet, charming, heartwarming and romantic.
I never would have imagined that Jim Carrey and Ewen McGregor would make such an adorable on-screen couple, but they had chemistry that most straight rom-coms of late have failed to capture. You will believe in them as a couple and will root for them and their happiness as a result.

As for sexual content, which has been the complaint of some of the commenters here, I personally didn't find this movie particularly shocking, rating considered. There is one brief, visible gay sex scene near the beginning of the movie, but it serves it's purpose at that point in the story and is used for comedic shock value rather that eroticism. There is another scene later on between Jim and Ewen that is heard more than seen and the rest of the movie is simply innuendo, references and romance.

If you're of an open mind I can't see why you wouldn't enjoy this movie! It's brilliant fun, very funny and completely adorable.
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on 10 August 2016
I didn't like Jim Carey.....but I do now ! He turns in a mature,credible performance in a film that is both touching and very funny.He is obviously enjoying himself immensely and his enjoyment is infectious.Mr. McGregor is a perfect counter-balance and the whole piece has enough twists and turns to hold your attention throughout.A most enjoyable way to spend an evening-then you can have a nice discussion afterwards about why the film was banned in several countries !
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on 19 July 2010
On the front of the dvd case it says "Outrageously funny", "Non-stop laughs" and "Hilarious" so I was a bit wary about whether this film could measure up to the quotes or not - but it did. It was all of those things, as well as being a beautifully touching love story.

The director and cast manage to find the perfect balance between humour and heartbreak - not an easy thing to do with Jim Carrey in the mix, but in this film I think Ewan McGregor's gentle performance is the perfect foil for Carrey's OTT-ness. It's a testament to both of them that I never, for one moment, felt I was watching two straight actors pretending to be gay (something that kept nudging me back to reality while watching Brokeback Mountain!).

So: funny, moving, sometimes hilarious and not a boring moment in it. A wee gem in fact.

PS The track playing at the end is Devotchka's 'I Cried Like a Silly Boy'.
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