This is one awfully strange film, and it took me sometime to think about how I felt. I think the advertisements for this have been very wrong, yes on the surface it is a lover story, but deep down it is about a disturbed man. Jim Carrey plays Steven Russell, he is a local police officer, with a loving family. All is not what it seems as Steven is actually gay and after some incidents he decides he is going to be himself. However that lifestyle turns out to be rather expensive and he turns to conning to get by. He still finds himself lying and being a con man even when he gets put into prison where he meets the love of his life Phillip Morris (Ewan McGregor).
I will say this about the film, Jim Carrey is excellent as Steven. This is not really a comedic role nor is it a dramatic role, it falls somewhere in the middle. Despite the things he does, Steven remains a mostly likable character through out the film. You can understand why he does what he does, and by the end of the film it seems he can’t help himself. The character of Steven I felt was disturbed, he wasn’t true to himself, and he wasn’t true to those around him. He can’t stop lying, and being someone he is not. I felt that deep down this man could not accept his true self, and really that is quite sad. The central love story is a little odd, I didn’t fully buy the love between Steven and Phillip at first. Phillip seems to be a bit of a gullible character, someone perfect for Steven. Ewan McGregor is pretty good in the role, he shares a decent chemistry with Carrey and they worked well with each other.
The film has some good moments, some funny moments, but then there were moments that fell flat. There didn’t seem to be a lot of real substance behind it, and I wasn’t quite sure what message this film was trying to deliver in the end. Is it a film about the evils of conning people? Hard to tell, as I said at the start of the review this is a really strange film. I think the strangest part about the film is that it is based on real events. Steven Russell is a real person, and I assume most of these events did happen. I have to wonder what sort of person he was, and how he has changed since these events. This is certainly a film worth seeing, the two main performances are great, especially Carrey. I am interested to hear from others who have seen this, and what their take on it was.