Jim Carrey acting crazy

I Love You Phillip Morris (R) ★★½

Jim Carrey has been a real enigma for many movie fans over the years. I dig both his comedic and dramatic roles with equal measure but fear that he's been on a downfall the past few years. What with stuff like The Majestic, The Number 23, Yes Man and Fun With Dick & Jane coming out the past 6 or so years, I'm skeptical at that the audacious actor we've come to like has all but vanished. Which brings me to I Love You Philip Morris, which is audacious and genuine Carrey. the kind of genuine that we've come to like from him, with none of the conventionality we've come to expect the last few years. Carrey's Steven Jay Russell is gay, dangerous and completely absurd- it's a showy role that does justice to the actor's talents and gives a certain kind of hope for more of these type of roles to come in the future.

Don't forget he was in some truly great films over the years (The Truman Show & Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind) films that have proven his ability to engage not just commercially but artistically also. Lately he's been bogged down in the commercial by focusing on clunky scripts that do not effectively show his range. His physical comedy used to have an incredibly vibrant freshness to it that he made what was supposed to be below average fare into real comic gold (Dumb And Dumber, The Mask & Ace Ventura). Philip Morris represents a Carrey actually excited about the material, it helps that directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa scripted the absurdy brilliant Bad Santa in 2003.

If he's a real highlight, the film itself is all over the place, going from one subplot to the next without the least bit of intention to slow down. Which is a problem. Ficarra and Requa have come up with some outrageous stuff here, which keeps things interesting, rolling along but messy. The film is a gay, prison love story on acid with a severe case of ADD. Jay falls for Phillip -a solid Ewan McGregor- in prison and they embark on a twisted relationship that has no trust and no boundaries in its ambitions. Jay is a greedy, manic depressive that is clearly messed up and confused about his own existence. I don't need to reveal more but to just say that this isn't a groundbreaker nor is it a great film, but it is an interesting companion piece to Carrey's own The Cable Guy, which also dealt with an obsessed individual on the brink of losing it and endangering the people around him.