I Love You Phillip Morris is finally getting an American release. The film, written and directed by Bad Santa screenwriters Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, has faced a tortuous road to multiplexes. After premiering at Sundance 2009 and accumulating a lot of buzz the film was to be distributed by Consolidated Pictures Group way back on February 12th. But that did not happen. The alternate release dates, March 26th, April 30th, and July 30th all came and went and left audiences waiting. The the film was delayed indefinitely.
Now, Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp, which produced the film, has made a deal with Roadside Attractions and Liddell Entertainment to have the film distributed on December 3rd with full advertising to promote the release. The movie, inspired by a true story, stars Jim Carrey as Steven Russell, a con-man who meets and falls in love with his prison cellmate, Phillip Morris, played by Ewan McGregor. After Morris’ release, Russell repeatedly escapes prison in order to see him again. Already released internationally (and garnering a 81% “Fresh” rating on RottenTomatoes in the process), the film is sure to be controversial, albeit critically lauded, upon its release in America. Hit the jump to watch the trailer and see what the love is all about.
Update: We’ve now included the press release after the jump
Here’s the official synopsis:
With alacrity and style, Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, the codirectors of I Love You Phillip Morris, have fashioned an improbable, but true, tale of a spectacularly charismatic and resourceful con-man’s journey from small-town cop to flamboyant white-collar criminal. Concocted by the absurdist sensibilities and warped minds that were behind the creation of Bad Santa and centered around an eccentrically wonderful performance by Jim Carrey, the film relates a story that is truly stranger than fiction and showcases a love story that will not be denied. When a local Texas policeman, Steve Russell (Carrey), turns to cons and fraud to allow him to change his lifestyle (in more ways than one), his subsequent stay in the state penitentiary results in his meeting the love of his life, a sensitive fellow inmate named Phillip Morris, perfectly portrayed by Ewan McGregor. What ensues can only be described as a relentless quest as Russell attempts escape after escape and executes con after con, all in the name of love. This is the world of the preposterous: it plays like a farce but is vastly entertaining because it turns all that we take for granted about life on its head. As a primer on the irresistible power of a man who is either insane or in love (is there a difference?), I Love You Phillip Morris surely serves to remind us of the resilience of the human spirit.
Here’s the press release:
(LOS ANGELES, August 26) – Roadside Attractions and Liddell Entertainment have acquired U.S. and Canadian rights from EuropaCorp to I LOVE YOU PHIILLIP MORRIS, co-directed and co-written by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa (co-writers of BAD SANTA), based on the non-fiction book by former Houston Chronicle investigative reporter Steve McVicker, and starring Jim Carrey, Ewan McGregor, Leslie Mann and Rodrigo Santoro. The eagerly-anticipated film, produced by Andrew Lazar and Far Shariat with Luc Besson as executive producer, has been a buzz-worthy title since world premiering at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, screening as part of Directors’ Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival and opening to huge critical-acclaim internationally. The North American deal was announced jointly by Howard Cohen, Co-President of Roadside Attractions and Mickey Liddell of Liddell Entertainment. Roadside Attractions plans a December 3, 2010 release.
“Audiences who know this is from the creators of Bad Santa will be thrilled that it’s as outrageous as they’d expect,” said Liddell, who partnered with Roadside Attractions in releasing Chris Rock’s GOOD HAIR in 2009. “It’s a true-life, daring, crazy love story with fascinating lead performances by Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor”
“Jim and Ewan once again prove themselves to be among the rare group of A-list actors who take the risks, embrace them and wildly succeed,” added Cohen. “This is a film that everyone has been talking about, and we’re thrilled it became available again, as we had been in hot pursuit of it at Sundance and were disappointed it was one that got away.”
I LOVE YOU PHILLIP MORRIS is the improbable but true story of a spectacularly charismatic conman’s journey from small-town businessman to flamboyant white-collar criminal, who repeatedly finds himself in trouble with the law and on the lam, brilliantly escaping from the Texas prison system on four separate occasions – all in the name of love.