Whatever you're opinion of Jim Carrey, and it seems to vary from underrated actor who was penalised for being a comedian, to has been that should have just kept making Ace Ventura movies. I think I'm more in the first camp then the second, though I can be dissuaded. I Love You, Phillip Morris is one of Carrey's better outings of late. Its not the greatest of movies, having that frustrating indie movie inconsistency and using an intrusive voice-over as a crutch but for fans of both Carrey the comedian and Carrey the actor should each get their fix. And if this isn't the best of either, its a credible reminder of each.
Based on the incredulous true life story of Steven Russell (Carrey), a middle-aged Christian husband and father who after a near death experience decided to be his true self. A flamboyant homosexual, and when that is not enough, an ingenious con man. But the heart of the story comes from Russell's affections to his soulmate, the titular Phillip Morris (Ewan McGregor). The film certainly enjoys the con artist aspect of the story, and it doesn't skimp on the gayness as you'd think it might do. Both Carrey and McGregor give great performances, Carrey finding the right balance between extroverting the shit of the showier scenes and giving the character some actual dramatic credibility which I certainly appreciated. McGregor does good work, in what is essentially the girlfriend role that so many actresses end up having to endure. Thankfully too, there's a real sense of the romantic behind the style and flamboyancy, which if this movie didnt have it would be a little too much of the point and laugh variety.
There's fun to be had here, and while there are moments that clunk, moments that drag and ideas that don't quite work. There's enough innovation and confidence here to make this movie worth its faults. Its got a great, genuinely dark sense of humor too, which is great to see Carrey tap into, as there has always been a great sense of the slightly twisted about his characters.