I Loved ‘I Love You Phillip Morris’
Last week we were supposed to see ‘Harry Potter’ but ended up going to ‘I Love You Phillip Morris’ instead and were pleasantly surprised; the film is hilarious. I’m not a Jim Carrey fan because I think he’s usually pushing too hard but in this role that quality is an asset. I have been a fan of Ewan McGregor since ‘Trainspotting’ and as Phillip Morris he gives yet another surprising performance; he really is one of the great actors of his generation. Apparently the reason I was watching this hilarious comedy with two huge stars giving performances ranking at the top of their careers in an art house with maybe a dozen other people (who were laughing out loud as well) was because it was ‘too gay’ for the mainstream.
Our pop culture is a pretend freakshow where Lady Gaga is an avant garde artist and Lil Wayne is a folksinger; they are salty nuggets floating in a bland gruel thinned by unimaginative repetition and recycled cannibalism. Technology has replaced artistry which allows Everyone to express themselves; the problem with is that they are all doing it the same way. Pressing a filter button is not the same thing as learning how to draw or sing or play an instrument. Technology has enabled more people to express themselves and that is a good thing; I don’t want to come off as a curmudgeon. Far from it. I have embraced every development of the digital age as it has come along but that is probably because I had to learn the analog method first. When we did paste ups in college we actually were using paste and razors. What this meant was that everything, even commercial product, was still essentially handmade with all the idiosyncratic quirks that come with that kind of process.
This is what I loved about the film. It had the rhythm of life, steady but with themes that developed unpredictably. It had the bravery of simple honesty and was joyfully hilarious. It also featured some of the best use of Johnny Mathis that I can remember. A comedy for grown ups.