By: Henry J. Fromage (Three Beers) –
A gay man who just came out of the closet turns to conning to finance his new lifestyle, and then to reunite him with the love of his life who he meets in prison.
When this movie first appeared at the Sundance Film Festival last year it was met both with critical acclaim and a whirlwind of controversy which slammed its distribution chances like a Missouri trailer park.
The physical manifestation of punditry
Well, it’s finally getting a U.S. release, which is good, because it’s a very funny movie.
Raise your glass if you like old-school Jim Carrey. The manic craziness and spot-on comic timing from 90s classics like The Mask and Liar, Liar is back, but this time he develops the character behind the caricature and the result is one of the most well-rounded and funny performances of his career.
The story itself is insane when you start to process that it actually happened. Carrey’s conman makes the kid from Catch Me If You Can look like a 12 year old caught sneaking into a R-rated film.
Mixed in with the capers are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments, particularly during Carrey’s coming out period at the beginning of the film.
This is where the film suffers a bit of an identity crisis. A lot of the controversy revolved around the “graphic” gay sex scenes. Those don’t really exist.
This movie is certainly about gay characters, but to call it a gay movie would be selling it, and yourself, short. It’s just too bad that the filmmakers don’t accomplish this completely. Sometimes I Love You Phillip Morris slips from a conman movie that happens to have a gay protagonist to a broad and kind of stereotypical gay-joke farce, which saps away some of its momentum. Also, when this is your marketing…
Drink a bit whenever Ewan MacGregor shows up. MacGregor himself described the man his character was based on as a manly, macho type and stated that he tried to play him that way.
Staying away from that wouldn’t have been such a big deal if he had made his character into something other than bland and completely forgettable. Next to Carrey’s performance he practically disappears.
Watch it. Jim Carrey’s trademark wackiness and one of the best conman stories around make it well worth your while.
Bonus Drinking Game
Take a drink: for each gay stereotype joke
Take a drink: whenever MacGregor acts coy and clueless
Drink a shot: whenever Carrey falls down