i love you phillip morris (2009)

So I’d heard a lot about this film, but nothing I’d heard was enough to convince me to re-subscribe to my Netflix DVD plan. But huzzah! Last week, this big-budget, star-studded homoflick popped up on Netflix Instant, to the delight of Ewan McGregor stalkers everywhere.

I Love You Phillip Morris is the true story of a real-life gay con-artist named Steven Russell (Jim Carrey), and his love-affair with a sissy Southern carjacker Phillip Morris (McGregor), who he meets in prison. According to the marketing and trailers, this film looked like an irritating characterization of gayness with enough moral ambiguity to allow any Bible-thumping potential audience members to feel safe in their inability to relate to a heathen homo. Was this Brokeback Mountain all over again? With uglier dudes?

Alas, you can’t judge a book by it’s cover, or an actor by his dye-job and attempted Southern accent (A for effort, Ewan). This film was actually totally good. It didn’t completely skewer the idea of “gay man” with clownish stereotypes, despite Buster-Keaton-never-be Carrey heading up the cast.

The story’s totally engrossing, and the film-makers don’t shy away from some real gay shit. There’s even a comically graphic scene in which Carrey cums in some dudes ass. Yup. I even found myself tearing up towards the end of the film, being conned into believing that this story would be something other than cheeky – or as described on the ‘Flix : “Steamy, Quirky, Feel Good.” I get the “quirky” and the “feel good,” but “steamy?” C’mon. I wouldn’t want to watch Jim Carrey fuck anything, let alone with that awful receding-hairline mushroom cut (see above image).

But yes. I connected. I related. I was moved. And afterwards, I felt good.

The biggest letdown however was Mr. McGregs. Ever since Moulin Rouge I’ve doubted his range (who hasn’t!?), and he doesn’t quite pull off the whole truthful thing as marvelously as Carrey does. In one scene where he’s (acting like he’s) sobbing on the phone with a dry face (ever heard of onions?), I had to just try to imagine him being super cute and sexy in Trainspotting so all my girlhood fantasies wouldn’t be crushed by his sheer hack-ery.

Ultimately: kudos, breeders, for taking a dip in the ‘mo pool, but I’ll eat my cake when I see a big-budget film made about a homo who’s not rotting in prison as we speak.


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