Jim Carrey has a sex scene 10 minutes in that will alert some people that they’re in the wrong theater, and from then on there are countless CDAs (Cinematic Displays of Affection) and occasional sex, mostly between Carrey and Ewan McGregor.
Based on real events, this is the story of a con man who falls in love. Lying being part of his nature, he can’t be honest with anyone, including his love or, it turns out, the audience.
“Love’s the reason I’m layin’ here dyin’,” Steven Russell (Carrey) tells us at the outset, narrating from a hospital bed. Adopted as a child, he grows up to become a respectable policeman, a churchgoer with a wife (Leslie Mann) and daughter.
He’s always been gay, he tells us. A car wreck makes him decide to tell everyone else as well: “I’m gonna be a fag. A big fag.” He moves to Miami where he soon has “two adorable pups and a boyfriend named Jimmy (Rodrigo Santoro).” It’s there he discovers “Being gay is really expensive,” and becomes a con man to supplement his income.
This eventually leads to a Texas prison, where Steven meets Phillip Morris (McGregor), a self-described “blond-haired, blue-eyed queer.” It’s love at first sight and Steven arranges to get himself transferred to Phillip’s cell.
Their life together is as romantic as it can be, given the surroundings, until Steven gets out and impersonates a lawyer to get Philip released. He lies his way into a job as chief financial officer of a medical management company, from whom he embezzles enough to let them live in grand style — until he gets caught.
There follow a seemingly endless parade of con jobs, suicide attempts, arrests, escapes, romantic interludes, wacky comedy and sobering drama — more than enough to qualify “I Love You Phillip Morris” as a gay date movie.
Longtime writing partners Glenn Ficarra and John Requa (“Bad Santa”) are directing one of their scripts for the first time. Because it doesn’t open until Dec. 17 we can’t tell you what we thought of it, but you’ll want to see it for yourself anyway.