Sorry Philip Morris, somebody really doesn’t love you. I Love You Phillip Morris, a dark comedy starring Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor, which had its premiere way back at Sundance 2009 was scheduled to be released this month. Now, the LA Times is reporting that Consolidated Pictures Group has delayed it indefinitely.
Based on a true story, Carrey stars as con artist who falls in love with his prison cellmate, Phillip Morris, played by McGregor. It’s written and directed by Bad Santa screenwriters Glenn Ficarra and John Requa. After premiering at Sundance, the film played Cannes and was scheduled to be released on March 26, before being bumped to April 30. Now, it has no date at all.
After the jump, check out the trailer for the film and read why I think this – pretty darn great – film finds itself sitting on a shelf.
Late last year at a small Los Angeles theater, I was lucky enough to catch a screening of I Love You Phillip Morris. I walked in knowing very little except that buzz was negative because of the delays and that Carrey and McGregor played lovers. The film blew me away. After an awkward start, it begins to find its legs and evolve into a beautiful true love story mixed with an almost unbelievable string of cons. Think Catch Me If You Can meets Brokeback Mountain with the result being a romantic comedy. It is from the Bad Santa guys after all. The twists and turns are fantastic and, at the end of the film, I raved about to to all my friends – assuring them they’d be able to see it in early 2010.
When the film had trouble getting a distributor out of Sundance in 2009, many people surely assumed it was because of the subject matter. In the LA Times report, they seem to suggest that because I Love You Phillip Morris was being released by a super independent distributor, money might have been the issue. It really and truly has to be. Several films in recent years have proved that America is beginning to embrace overtly gay subject matter (Milk won two Oscars after all, and Brokeback won 3, just to name a few). Plus, the core elements – a love story rolled into a confidence game – are totally mainstream.
But maybe you just don’t get that out of the trailer. And maybe it truly is impossible for independent distributors to play with the big boys. Check this out and then let us know what you think.