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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

I LOVE YOU PHILLIP MORRIS (2009)

There’s more than a comma missing from this fact-inspired comic tall tale. Jim Carrey plays one of those borderline psycho-genius types, a born con-man who uses more time & energy to fake his way thru mad moneymaking schemes than he’d need to do things straight. But straight isn’t the word because Carrey does it all for fellow jailbird Phillip Morris, the eponymous love of his life. (Ewan McGregor in an alarming dye-job.) Tru-love makes Carrey a scam-oholic and the film largely consists of get-rich-quick plans, get-out-of jail feints; and health-crisis cons - each more entertainingly preposterous than the last. (How much of this is true?) Too bad that newbie meggers Glenn Ficarra & John Requa, working off their own promising script, sabotage themselves with a visual template out of the Coen Brothers’ RAISING ARIZONA/’87 (super-saturated palette & self-consciously wacky compositions) coupled to the heavy-handed nudge-nudge/wink-wink tone of THE HUDSUCKER PROXY/’94. And now that he’s approaching middle-age, couldn’t Carrey use those mischievously roving eyes for something other than scanning for the next laugh. Maybe a tutorial in Alec Guinness Ealing Studio comedies would do the trick.

CONTEST: This isn’t the only prison-based pic that uses a bit of opera on the soundtrack. In fact, there’s a prison film that uses the very same operatic selection. Name the composer, opera, excerpt and the other film to win our usual MAKSQUIBS Write-Up of any NetFlix DVD as your prize!

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