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I Love You Phillip Morris (Blu-ray Review)

I Love You Phillip Morris may be one of the most unconventional love stories of all time.  It could also be considered one of Jim Carrey’s most daring career moves of all time as well.  You know, with the whole “gay” stigma out there in the world,  a role like this taken by any other actor without clout could be bad for their career.  What would his loyal fan base think?  I Love You Phillip Morris is a comedy which is based on a true story.  I Love You Phillip Morris is also a raunchy comedy from the people that brought you Bad Santa, so take that as you will.  Please be advised that some of the names may have been changed to protect the guilty and the innocent. 

Film 

Steve Russell (Carrey) is a small town police officer living a supposedly happy and meaningful life with his wife Debbie (Mann) while all at once he’s gathering information about his adoptive mother who abandoned him (along with his adoptive family) years earlier.  Not to mention that he’s taking advantage of being a police officer and using his access to law enforcement records to gather reconnaissance.  It’s illegal.

It’s not until he’s in a serious car accident that he has an epiphany of sorts.  He recovers from the accident, leaves his family and moves to Florida to live out his life as a gay man.  This does come at a hefty price, because Steve is accustomed to the finer things in life and that takes money to sustain.  Lots of money.  It is in his search to fund his lavish lifestyle (and his boyfriend) that leads him to commit one con after another.  Once the the jig is up Steve gets thrown into the slammer where he meets and falls in love with fellow inmate Phillip Morris (McGregor).

Phillip would be the driving the force of every action taken by Steve thereafter.  Steve escapes from prison, commits even more serious acts of fraud all in the name of Phillip.  On the surface, I Love You Phillip Morris would be pretty standard, but not when it’s this daring and hysterical.  Everyone involved especially Carrey are amazing in their roles.  I Love You Phillip Morris has some powerhouse performances throughout that allow Carrey, McGregor, and Santoro shine.  Typical this film is not.

Due to the explicit nature and the prudishness of America’s sensibilities I Love You Phillip Morris was not able to secure a U.S. distributor in a timely matter.  In fact, I Love You Phillip Morris sat on the shelf for almost two years waiting to see the light of day in U.S. theaters.  Europe and a few other territories were able to see it before America did.  I Love You Phillip Morris was shot for 13 million dollars and made about 20 million in its limited theatrical run.  Not bad, but not great either.

Newly released on the Blu-ray format, now would be the time for you to check out and see what all the fuss was about.  As mentioned before I Love You Phillip Morris features some career defining performances by the main stars.  Not only is the film serious underneath, it’s a funny film, too.  This is a comedy after all.

Video 

I Love You Phillip Morris is presented in 1080p 1.85:1 widescreen.  This one is a doozy!  I Love You Phillip Morris features a lush and tropical palette, and this, even when it’s not taking place in Florida.  There is one scene in the prison where all of the inmates are wearing yellow jumpsuits and it’s as if they were standing right in front of you.  It’s the colors, man.  The colors come through wonderfully.  I did not detect any signs of softness, but there was a bit of edge enhancement, but only minor instances of it.  It may have had something to do with some of the shots that were composed digitally.  There is a light sheen of grain throughout the film, so that’s a big plus.  The picture quality of I Love You Phillip Morris is refreshing.

Audio 

I Love You Phillip Morris is presented in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1.  And just like the video specs, the audio quality really shines on this Blu-ray release.  From the opening church choir tunes to the horrific car crash, to the music score and songs used for the film; came through loud and clear.  The LFE channel carried itself in a distinguished manner with no rattle, hiss, or distortion.  Dialogue was clean, clear, and crisp.  The surround channels were also taken advantage of, and one was able to hear ambient dialogue during some of the party and club scenes.  I Love You Phillip Morris is a winner in the audio department.

Special Features 

I Love You Phillip Morris has, on the surface, some peculiar special features that are not listed on  the box, so it made me have to go and pop the disc into the machine to get the rest of the information.  The pickings are slim, but I Love You Phillip Morris has one of the best audio commentaries that I’ve listened to in quite a while.  It’s funny as hell!  Now one thing that I am not certain of, is that some of the people listed on the commentary are not actually on it except for the beginning and ending intro/outros.  At least 99.9% of the commentary feature just the writer/directors and their director of photography.  That, or all of their voices sound exactly the same.  I only remember hearing three voices.  Shrugs?  The making of featurette is fairly adequate, but as usual with these things they are very self congratulatory.  Deleted scenes and a couple of (red and green band) trailers round out the extras.  The audio commentary really shines!

  • Commentary with Writers and Directors John Requa and Glen Ficarra, Producers Andrew Lazar and Far Shariat, Chief Lighting Technician Max Pomerleau, and Director of Photography Xavier Perez Grobet
  • The Making of  I Love You Phillip Morris
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Red Band Internet Trailer
  • Green Band Theatrical Trailer

Final Thoughts 

Leave all of your pre-conceived notions about the subject matter at the door, because I Love You Phillip Morris has more class, laughs, and a better story in the first five minutes than many of those contemporary “straight” films have in their entire 90 minute running times.  There.  I said it.  Jim Carrey has made one of the best films of his career in  I Love You Phillip Morris. I approve this review.

Order I Love You Phillip Morris on Blu-ray!

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Gerard Iribe is a writer/reviewer for Why So Blu?. He has also reviewed for other sites like DVD Talk, Project-Blu, and CHUD, but Why So Blu? is where the heart is. You can follow his incoherency on Twitter: @giribe

4 Responses to “I Love You Phillip Morris (Blu-ray Review)”


  1. Big Boys Oven

    awesome!

  2. Sean Ferguson

    I figured this one would be good with the leads in it so I’m glad to hear that you liked it.

  3. Gerard Iribe

    Thanks Sean. Jim Carrey needs to do more films that have depth like this one.

  4. Matt

    Jim Carrey is an established actor and well able to pull a role like that off, putting the comedy touch to it seems like a better way to brand that part as his. I’m looking forward to see it, hoping it will give me a couple laughs.