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I Love You Phillip Morris (2009)

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A cop turns con man once he comes out of the closet. Once imprisoned, he meets the second love of his life, whom he'll stop at nothing to be with.
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6 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Barbara Bascombe (as Mary Louise Burke)
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Houston Lawyer
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Cellmate - Arnie
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Doctor
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Steven's Mom
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Steven's Dad
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Storyline

Steven Russell is happily married to Debbie, and a member of the local police force when a car accident provokes a dramatic reassessment of his life. Steven becomes open about his homosexuality and decides to live life to the fullest - even if it means breaking the law. Steven's new, extravagant lifestyle involves cons and fraud and, eventually, a stay in the State Penitentiary where he meets sensitive, soft-spoken Phillip Morris. His devotion to freeing Phillip from jail and building the perfect life together prompts Steven to attempt and often succeed at one impossible con after another. Written by The Film Catalogue

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Do some time with the one you love. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexual content including strong dialogue, and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

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Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

7 January 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Una pareja dispareja  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$13,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£1,066,092 (UK) (19 March 2010)

Gross:

$2,035,566 (USA) (8 April 2011)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(European Film Market)

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The playing of the song "The Marriage of Figaro" by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart at the end of the film is likely a nod to Shawshank Redemption (1994) which is a prison-based film as well. See more »

Goofs

The heart monitor for the flat-lining patient has the date 29-Jun-2008, even though the story is set in the mid-90s. See more »

Quotes

Phillip Morris: You fucker!
Steven Russell: I know. I'm sorry. You weren't supposed to find out.
Phillip Morris: Well, I did.
Steven Russell: I couldn't take a chance telling you. You know that. I couldn't. But, Phillip, I only did it just so I could get here to you. I did it so I could talk again. And here I am.
Phillip Morris: You're so skinny.
Steven Russell: I'm fine. Just hungry.
Phillip Morris: Steven, I don't...
Steven Russell: Wait, listen. I just came here to tell you one thing, and that's it. You don't have to take me back. I just want to say one thing. I know you think that we were nothing but a lie, but ...
[...]
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Crazy Credits

The very end of the credits has a list of Thank Yous. The last two items on the list are Redbull and Xanax. See more »

Connections

Features Penny Serenade (1941) See more »

Soundtracks

I Cried Like a Silly Boy
Performed by DeVotchKa
Written by Edward Thacker, Nick Urata, Tom Hagerman, Jean Schroder, and Shawn Gilbert
Published by Little Devotchka Music (BMI) & Devotchka Designee (ASCAP)
Used by Permission from Little Devotchka Music (BMI) and Ace Fu Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Carrey and McGregor shine in superbly crafted comedy
5 August 2010 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

Continuing my MIFF reviews, I saw this last week with a packed house at Greater Union.

Firstly, it has to be said that it's a tragedy that this film's general release has been such a stifled process. The entertainment value of this picture, its expert construction and superb performances cannot be denied.

Carrey turns in what is possibly his best performance in a decade. It's bizarre, the way that his signature antics actually enhance rather than diminish the dramatic aspects of this film, based loosely on real life events. In fact, for me, the movie trumps The Truman Show as Carrey's true coming of age as a performer of depth. Ewan McGregor is equally astonishing as Phillip Morris - you'd swear you were watching the kind of unique romantic chemistry between two actors that arrives very rarely in cinema, and virtually never between two A-listers playing gay lovers; but the love story is only a foundation for what emerges as a kinetic, superbly told comedy-drama about the real life exploits of con man and recidivist prison escapee Steven Jay Russell.

Directors/writers Glenn Ficarra and John Requa expertly handle the tensions of comic and dramatic performance and also prove to have a masterly touch with the frenzied action sequences. Bit parts are cast beautifully. You can see the attention to detail and craft in this movie.

It can only be assumed that the gay context of this film has cost it it's commercial potential in the eyes of distributors, because everything else about it spells box office success. Apparently, it will finally have a limited release in the US in October this year, with the potential of expansion.

Without spoiling any of the twists of the film's detailed series of events, the film succeeds at beautifully hijacking audience expectation time and again. Just when you think you've got the film pinned for being predictable, suddenly it flips on you with a wry smile as if to say, "I knew what you were thinking".

I'm not sure how close the producers stuck to the facts, but it scarcely matters. If 5% of this narrative is true, it would be amazing in itself. I would be happy if the film was complete fiction.

It's a wonderful, assured comedy and deserves wide commercial exploitation.


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