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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
15
Cast
Jim Carrey
Ewan McGregor
Leslie Mann
Rodrigo Santoro.
Directors
Glenn Ficarra
John Requa.
Screenwriters
Glenn Ficarra
John Requa.
Running Time
97 minutes

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I Love You Phillip Morris
Just your average boy meets boy in prison rom-com!


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Plot
Family man Steven Russell (Carrey) has a secret: he’s gay. Well, two secrets: he’s also a con man. When he’s jailed for fraud, he falls in love with inmate Phillip Morris (McGregor), but staying together isn’t going to be easy...


Review
I Love You Phillip Morris
I Love You Phillip Morris begins with a shot of an emaciated Jim Carrey, lying on a gurney, pining for death in a plaintive voiceover. For those of us who have endured Carrey’s attempts at overwhelming Oscar with a tsunami of sentiment, this is not a good sign. You could be forgiven for thinking that what will follow is 90 minutes of cloying worthiness.

Thankfully, though, this is a film — like its main character — that takes enormous pleasure in cheating, lying and defying expectations. As it turns out, this is not an asinine Oscar grab, but one of the sharpest, blackest and funniest comedies of the year. That it actually mutates into a truly touching and very moving love story featuring a stunning Carrey turn that should have, in an ideal world, resulted in an Oscar nod, is a happy accident.

The movie’s title refers to Phillip Morris, and while McGregor is fine in the role as a sweet, almost unrealistically innocent naif, it’s Carrey we follow throughout, with the comedian enjoying a dream role that allows him to combine his old-school comedic box of tricks — the pratfalls, the sweaty, manic intensity and even the odd rubber-faced gurn — with an emotional honesty that feels earned and genuine.

Ficarra and Requa, the debutant writer/directors here, wrote Bad Santa, and there’s no doubt they’re both drawn from the same, scabrous gene pool, with the duo tackling gags of all shapes and sizes, on any number of subjects, from anal sex (although, crucially, the fact that Steven and Phillip are gay is never a punchline) to corporate fraud. But they also bring a welcome panache to the material, with neatly framed visual jokes and one sustained sequence, in which a mouthy inmate hurls abuse at guards, that borders on the sublime.

And if, occasionally, their handling of the film’s more serious moments isn’t quite as sure-handed as the comedy, rest assured in the knowledge that the rug will soon be pulled from under your feet, and the laughter will begin again. Trust us.


Verdict
One of the funniest films of the year, this is a wonderful mix of old-school Carrey outrageousness with a genuinely touching — and very modern — love story.


Reviewed by

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for I Love You Phillip Morris
Empire Star Rating

Good. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by reminn at 11:54, 03 November 2010 | Report This Post


This is a tough one for me. I'll give it 4, but its probably closer to 3. The film has a great jim carrey performance and is soldily funny, but also has some underwritten subplots. Ewan McGregor is good as the title character, but this is the Jim Carrey show. Showing restraint and grace, he really excels, and it ranks as one of his best performances. It wasn't as good as I thought it would be, but it is worth watching. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by hjfleeds at 16:55, 23 October 2010 | Report This Post


Funny, Quite Moving

I Love You Phillip Morris is a touching, moving and funny true story with a outstanding pefomance from Jim Carrey that should have had a Oscar nod. Be prepared to be shocked, laugh, grab a box of tissues and laugh once more as this movie is going to bring out your emotions with it's 90 minute running time. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by joanna likes films at 14:43, 26 July 2010 | Report This Post


Funny, Quite Moving

I Love You Phillip Morris is a touching, moving and funny true story with a outstanding pefomance from Jim Carrey that should have had a Oscar nod. Be prepared to be shocked, laugh, grab a box of tissues and laugh once more as this movie is going to bring out your emotions with it's 90 minute running time. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by joanna likes films at 14:43, 26 July 2010 | Report This Post


Watch it!

For crying out loud watch it! Just saw it today can't wait to see it again ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by monkeyhumour at 12:11, 20 July 2010 | Report This Post


Watch it!

For crying out loud watch it! Just saw it today can't wait to see it again ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by monkeyhumour at 12:11, 20 July 2010 | Report This Post


RE: RE:

this film flopped like a fat bird on the lash, didn't it? shame, its a cracker. 8/10. you dont know what your missing ... More

Posted by empire No. 1 at 04:46, 21 April 2010 | Report This Post


RE: RE:

Loved it, not perfect, but hysterical and pretty touching at parts, plus McGregor didn't annoy me. ... More

Posted by Ethanial at 14:44, 30 March 2010 | Report This Post


RE:

The trailer made it look superb, sadly it's not. Has it's moments but like most screwball comedies these days they are few and far between. Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor are brilliant though. ... More

Posted by Goodfella at 12:56, 29 March 2010 | Report This Post


No,no, no - wasn't just disappointing, it was wrong! I was so looking forward to this film based on trailer and reviews. Expected something smart, funny and emotionally on the money, and was bitterly disappointed. It was disjointed, contrived and most of all, only sporadically funny. The jokes were so far apart I was giving them a mental round of applause in the cinema - not good for an uproarious comedy! The film's only saving grace, in my opion, was Ewan McGregor who managed to bring some emo... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by themarymc at 00:30, 28 March 2010 | Report This Post


RE: I Love You Phillip Morris

Yeah, it was absolutely brilliant, my film of the year thus far. ... More

Posted by odddaze at 09:22, 19 March 2010 | Report This Post


RE: I Love You Phillip Morris

Mixes humour and emotion perfectly in this love story of a different kind. Do you think Jim Carrey will finally get his acting Oscar now? i can only hope... 8/10 ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by robwillphill at 19:55, 18 March 2010 | Report This Post


RE: I Love You Phillip Morris

Excellent movie. Jim Carrey's performance is totally believable this film is funny. ... More

Posted by sarkark21 at 06:26, 18 March 2010 | Report This Post


I love You Phillip Morris

This is an incredible true story about a gay con man who falls in love and will do whatever it takes to be together. Jim Carrey's performance is totally believable this film is funny but not necessarily funny like some of Carrey's other films because there are more seriouse themes here. Recommended. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Bighousewill at 18:19, 17 March 2010 | Report This Post


I love You Phillip Morris

This is an incredible true story about a gay con man who falls in love and will do whatever it takes to be together. Jim Carrey's performance is totally believable this film is funny but not necessarily funny like some of Carrey's other films because there are more seriouse themes here. Recommended. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Bighousewill at 18:19, 17 March 2010 | Report This Post


RE: The Power Of The Truth

So far this is my most anticipated film of the year. ... More

Posted by odddaze at 13:24, 16 March 2010 | Report This Post


The Power Of The Truth

It's more unique than rare that a film affects me this much. The center, the emotional center of Phillip Morris has entered my subconscious in a way that I can't quite describe. It changed my perception of things. This is the first time I see two men kissing that made complete sense. I believe and understood like never before the "normalness" of the feeling. I liked "Brokeback Mountain" too but in that case, the torturous path of self-loathing that the Heath Ledger character ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Timon_helen at 11:38, 16 March 2010 | Report This Post


Jokes about anal sex? Yay! makes it the must see film of the year then... ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by C3 at 04:23, 16 March 2010 | Report This Post


Jokes about anal sex? Yay! makes it the must see film of the year then... ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by C3 at 04:23, 16 March 2010 | Report This Post



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