Monday, May 24, 2010

I Love You Phillip Morris - Review

I just finished watching "I Love you Phillip Morris" starring Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor.  A dark romantic comedy based on a true story, about Steven Russell (Jim Carrey) coming to terms with his identity.

I love true love stories.  Love doesn't always come easy, and usually that is because of personal demons we have to face in our life.  I think that is where Steven Russell is coming from.  He has love all around him.  He loves perfectly.  Even the loves in is life that don't work out, like his ex-wife and his first boy friend, seem to not work out in a pleasant way.  He destroys his relationships with lies, but lies he tells are for the people he loves.  Like a gift.  If he didn't love he wouldn't lie.  Even from the  the beginning of the film Steven lies about his sexuality and marries a women to be a "good son" for his mother.  His lies eventually lead him down a path where he repeatedly looses his identity.

Steven's lies turn into insurance fraud and land him in prison.  There he meet Phillip Morris (Ewan McGregor) and falls deeply in love.  This was not a traditional atmosphere for two people to be romantic.  What I loved about the movie though was that it didn't matter.  When Steve and Phillip were together they where the only two people in the universe.  That is the kind of love that touches me.  That is the kind of love that I can relate to.  It doesn't matter what you do, or where you are because you are together and that is all that matters.  There is a scene when Phillip bribes another inmate to play romantic music on the prison PA (very Shawshank),  Phillip and Steve dance in there cell as if they are in Paris.  It was touching, real, and the perfect illustration of new love.

Unfortunately after being released from prison Steve falls back into his old patterns and begins to live his life as a lie again in order to make money to provide Phillip with anything his heart desires, despite Phillip's heart desiring only Steve.  As Steve becomes more involved in his web of lies he looses track of what is important.  Phillip and Steve now live in a huge mansion, but they have lost the intimacy they had when they shared their prison cell.  Phillip is no longer the only person in Steve's universe.  He now has a growing list of colleagues that he must impress and deceive in order to keep up his lie and keep the money rolling in.  

In the end Steve must discover his true self, he is a man that lies, but loves too, and loves Phillip Morris with all his heart.

I loved this movie.  Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor where completely believable as two people deeply in love.  I found myself routing for them the whole time.  Despite their many flaws ( they did meet in prison after all), it was such a pure love.  A love that kept drawing these two men back together.  Everything Steve did illegal, or unethical I found completely forgivable because he did it with love.  He truly felt he was doing the best he could to provide for his mother, his wife, his daughter his lover, it was all done in love, every lie unselfish.  At least in movie land I find that forgivable and even beautiful.

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