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Prisoners of Love

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Steven Russell (Jim Carrey, r) and Phillip Morris (Ewan McGregor) discover in I Love You Phillip Morris.

‘I Love You Phillip Morris’ smokes up the big screen.

by Donalevan Maines

Live the dream. Do the time. Find the one. That’s the tag line for the upcoming release of I Love You Phillip Morris, the Jim Carrey/Ewan McGregor gay romance with a “spectacular, ride-’em-cowboy sex scene” that Variety, the show-biz bible, predicted “will give some fans of Ace Ventura heart attacks.”

Bring it on!

And keep your fingers crossed that producers haven’t excised graphic sex scenes and brazen references to gay sex in order to keep the film from going straight to DVD.

The movie, which apparently has finally found a U.S. distributor after scandalizing the January 2009 Sundance Film Festival, is based on a book by Houstonian Steve McVicker, who wrote about former police officer-turned-con man Steven Russell (Carrey), who meets and falls in love with “Phillip Morris” (the cigarette maker spells it with only one ‘L’) while serving time in a Texas prison. As McVicker reported in a series of articles in the Houston Press, Russell escaped from jail four times to reunite with Morris (played by McGregor).

The book was adapted for the screen—and directed—by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, whose writing credits include the naughty Bad Santa, starring Billy Bob Thornton, and Richard Linklater’s 2005 remake of Bad News Bears. Executive producer is Luc Besson, the French director of Subway and La Femme Nikita, who recently accepted a big Hollywood paycheck for writing the John Travolta action movie From Paris With Love.

In trailers on the Internet—some in foreign languages—you can see how the movie begins with Carrey as a church organist, married to Leslie Mann, who decides to “come out” after miraculously surviving a car crash. He moves from Georgia to Florida, takes up with Rodrigo Santoro, and starts passing bad checks to finance his flamboyant lifestyle.

My favorite line: his excuse that “being gay is really expensive.”

The movie is scheduled for worldwide release on March 26.

Donalevan Maines also writes about the Oscars in this issue of OutSmart magazine.

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Don Maines

Donalevan Maines is a regular contributor to OutSmart Magazine.
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