I Love You Phillip Morris
Chris Chopping 14/03/2010
Jim Carrey's latest film is a beautifully put together piece of cinema. It's well shot, tightly edited, everything on screen looks great. It has an upbeat pop soundtrack and coasts along on charming performances. Carrey is typically energetic and charismatic as a gay conman Stephen Russell who falls for a fellow prison inmate and Ewan McGregor is likeable in the title role. Unfortunately, there's not much to this film beneath the glossy surface.
Despite being based on a true story, and featuring a car crash, a suicide attempt and spells in prison, the film has no dramatic tension. You never really get the sense that Russell is in any serious jeopardy. Instead the film is played as broad comedy but without enough laughs to really work on that level either. The film seems emotionally empty.
When it does eventually come, the emotional wallop in this film is jarring, almost like something from another movie. As if aware that the audience wont be too emotionally invested in the characters the score goes into overdrive to compensate. Plinking piano and keening strings toy unmercilessly with your emotions.
The film ends with a neat twist and actually succeeds in leaving you feeling like you've seen something of worth and substance. The trouble is you need to endure about eighty minutes of glib, lukewarm comedy to get there. I wasn't sure the payoff was worth it.