Festival Updates My Premiere: I LOVE YOU PHILLIP MORRIS

Directors Glenn Ficarra’s and John Requa’s I LOVE YOU PHILLIP MORRIS, a film participating in the 2009 Sundance Film Festival starring Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor.

DIRECTORS: Glenn Ficarra, John Requa
U.S.A., 2008, 100 min., color

With alacrity and style, Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, the codirectors of I LOVE YOU PHILLIP MORRIS, have fashioned an improbable, but true, tale of a spectacularly charismatic and resourceful conman’s journey from small-town cop to flamboyant white-collar criminal. Concocted by the absurdist sensibilities and warped minds that were behind the creation of Bad Santa and centered around an eccentrically wonderful performance by Jim Carrey, the film relates a story that is truly stranger than fiction and showcases a love story that will not be denied.

When a local Texas policeman, Steve Russell (Carrey), turns to cons and fraud to allow him to change his lifestyle (in more ways than one), his subsequent stay in the state penitentiary results in his meeting the love of his life, a sensitive fellow inmate named Phillip Morris, perfectly portrayed by Ewan McGregor. What ensues can only be described as a relentless quest as Russell attempts escape after escape and executes con after con, all in the name of love.

This is the world of the preposterous: it plays like a farce but is vastly entertaining because it turns all that we take for granted about life on its head. As a primer on the irresistible power of a man who is either insane or in love (is there a difference?), I Love You Phillip Morris surely serves to remind us of the resilience of the human spirit. —GEOFFREY GILMORE

ExP: Luc Besson Pr: Andrew Lazar, Far Shariat Ci: Xavier Perez Grobet Ed: Thomas J. Nordberg PrD: Hugo Luczyc-Wyhowski CoD: David C. Robinson Principal Cast: Jim Carrey, Ewan McGregor, Leslie Mann, Rodrigo Santoro