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Thursday, December 23, 2010

I Love You Phillip Morris not very likable


By Matt Brunson


DIRECTED BY Glenn Ficara & John Requa

STARS Jim Carrey, Ewan McGregor

The based-on-fact tale I Love You Phillip Morris contains a scene in which Ewan McGregor goes down on Jim Carrey, and it's moments such as these that doubtless kept the film out of U.S. theaters since its Sundance premiere almost two years ago (on the other hand, it's been playing in more progressive countries since last February). That it's finally expanding its venue count on Christmas Day is a nice touch (let's not forget, Christians: good will toward all men), but the truth is that this forgettable yarn, about a con artist who repeatedly outwits the citizens of Governor-Bush-era Texas (not that hard, I imagine), needs a more sincere showcase than the one presented by the makers of Bad Santa. As Steven Russell, a shyster who successfully passes himself off as (among other things) a lawyer, a judge and a corporate executive all in the name of love for his boy toy Phillip Morris (McGregor), Carrey veers more toward In Living Color mimicry than Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind soulfulness. That approach completely undermines a love story that's already being told in a slipshod manner due to an overstated focus on Steven's antics at the expense of more downtime with Phillip. Love means never having to say you're sorry, but viewers expecting any semblance of genuine romance nevertheless deserve some sort of apology.

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