What? He's just hugging his attorney. Don't all prisoners hug their attorneys?
I Love You Phillip Morris is a 2010 dramedy starring Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor. It follows the true story of Steven Jay Russell, a con man and serial prison fugitive, and the love of his life, a sweet-natured unlikely inmate named Phillip Morris (no connection to the infamous tobacco company).When our story begins, Steven (Carrey) is a respected Virginia Beach deputy sheriff with a beautiful wife, Debbie, and an adorable daughter, Steffie. He goes to church every Sunday, does his job well and sexes up his wife on a regular basis. The problem is, he is also secretly gay. When a freak car accident causes him to reevaluate his priorities, Steven comes out of the closet and starts life anew in Florida with his new boyfriend, Jimmy.However, his extravagant gay lifestyle requires a little extra funding, and he becomes a con man to continue living "high on the gay hog". He is soon discovered, and goes to prison for insurance fraud, where he falls head-over-heels for Phillip Morris (Ewan McGregor), a shy young blond from Arkansas. So begins a long relationship marked by multiple prison escapes, scams, hardships and magic markers.
I Love you Phillip Morris provides examples of:
Actor Allusion: Steven's comments about how 'God is a mean kid with a magnifying glass and I'm an ant,' is very similar to Jim Carrey's similar speech in Bruce Almighty.
Armor-Piercing Slap: A male-on-male variation. Phillip gives Steven a mighty big slap after Steven fakes his own death to break out of prison (again) and returns to get Phillip out while posing as his lawyer (again). Phillip was never supposed to find out but he did and had an agonising phone call with Steven while he was "dying". Steven admits it was completely justified.
Batman Gambit: Steven runs several of these to con people in extraordinary ways. Such as managing to convince medical staff he was dying from AIDS.
Camp Gay: Steven seemed to enthusiastically try to become this. Though he quickly found the lifestyle to be a tad too expensive for him to live on his salary. Cue the crime spree.
The film was released in Europe, Taiwan and Japan between February and April 2010. Although a limited run in the United States was initially scheduled for April 30, 2010, it was later reported that the film's release had been indefinitely postponed by its distributors, Consolidated Pictures Group but on April 12, 2010, Variety announced the distributor had had a change of heart and that I Love You Phillip Morris would be shown in limited theaters starting July 30 before expanding nationwide on August 6.
On June 3, 2010, the film was delayed yet again due to legal battles. The film is now scheduled for a December 3, 2010 release after Roadside Attractions and Liddell Entertainment acquire the rights to distribute in the United States.
The film has been released in the US and has proved successful enough in limited release than a wide expansion is set for January 7th, 2011.
Did Not Get the Girl: An odd variation at least technically Steven does get Phillip but they aren't allowed to be together due to Steven getting an extremely long prison sentence.
Disproportionate Retribution: it is implied that the reason for the unprecedented severity of Steven's sentence is because his escape was an embarrassment to the state of Texas and Governor Bush, and also because the prosecuting D.A. was his former boss's sister-in-law. Really, that's the only way to explain getting a life sentence with a 23-hour a day lockdown for fraud and prison escapes. A LOT of fraud and MANY prison escapes, but still...
Dissonant Serenity: Naturally occurs for a love story starting in a prison. Especially notable when Clevon gives his word to play a romantic song to the end; Clavon ends up arguing with a guard who wants the music off, and Phillip and Steven continue dancing even while Clevon ends up getting tased for resisting.
Downer Ending: Steven gets a life sentence and never sees Philip again.
Foreshadowing: After Steven states he suffered "a lot of personal losses" after Jimmy is seen threatening to leave him, it's implied that they broke up because of it. It later turns out their relationship's end had nothing to do with their separation; Jimmy died of AIDS, yet it rings true that Steven lost him and never got to see him again.
Hope Spot: Steven isn't dead from AIDS, and is about to free Phillip by posing as his lawyer again. Cue one of his old colleagues recognizing him as he's attending jury duty, resulting in Steve's lifetime sentence.
Despite Steven being permanently incarcerated in real life, the movie has a brief pre-credits scene of Steven escaping again.
I Gave My Word: If you pay Clevon to play a song, he will play it. His word is his muthafuckin' bond, bitch.
MacGyvering: Steven can escape from prison with just about anything: magic markers, women's stretch pants, pain medication, pay phone handsets, you name it.
Mood Whiplash: Steven's last prison break. It's all fun and games until it turns out Steven is dying of AIDS, and Phillip finds out, and forgives all his terrible behaviour during an incredibly heartwrenching, affecting phone call... and THEN it turns out that Steven actually faked AIDS as part of an elaborate plan to get them both out of prison, and Phillip was never meant to find out. Oops.
Real Person Cameo: The lawyer stood next to Steven when he's sentenced at the end of the movie is the real Phillip Morris.
Reveal Shot: This is how Steven "comes out" as gay to the film viewers. He is shown having sex with someone off-screen, which is assumed to be his wife until the camera pans out revealing his sexual partner to be a man.
Also at the end of the film when Steven is about to be prosecuted the two guys sitting next to him discuss theirs and Steven tries to escape.
White Collar Crime: How Steven got sent back to jail the second time. By running company money through non-company bank accounts, he generated huge amounts of interest from shifting cash that was pending transaction.