I Love You Phillip Morris (2009)

(Netflix Streaming, August 2015) The second half of Jim Carrey’s career has been marked by its fair share of easy roles, either riffing off his established persona or taking on a bland everyman role that anyone else could have played.  But if I Love You Phillip Morris may not have had the visibility of some of his other projects, it’s a joyously amoral comedy that sees Carrey stretch a bit and take on the kind of role that still feels faintly daring even years later.  Playing a gay ex-cop turned con man who falls in love with another inmate (Ewan MacGregor, also quite good and willing to extend his already inclusive persona) and then stops at nothing (big-time embezzlement, wilful convictions, cell-block favors, fake death) to be reunited with his love and live comfortably, Carrey is able to parlay his manic sweetness into a lot of sympathy for an anti-hero capable to lying his way to the top but ultimately brought down to earth by True Love.  The script is witty, the direction is energetic and the result is simply a lot of fun despite some rather dark themes brought up along the way.  Criminally under-seen but certainly worth a look, I Love You Phillip Morris may do much to improve your perception of Jim Carrey, especially in the latter body of work.

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