Sunday, December 5, 2010

I Love You Phillip Morris An Analysis

In our class we discussed queer cinema and queerness in movies for comedic relief. Although many of the film clips we viewed in class were dated it looks like Hollywood is still using this technique. I Love You Phillip Morris is a comedic movie about a Steven Russell, (Jim Carey) who after a tragic accident decides to come out. The trailer has many interesting moments specifically quotes like “I soon realized being gay was expensive.”
Carey becomes a con-artist and who pulls many cons to get Phillip Morris (Ewen McGregor) his soul mate whom he meets in jail out. He then pulls even bigger cons to provide for McGregor when they are out of jail. E online gives the movie a C+ and notes “To their credit, Carrey and McGregor don't shy away from kissing and other PDA, but as more and more gay clichés sashay by, their sexuality seems more like an opportunity for the movie's mockery. (Stevens, “Movie Review: I Love You Phillip Morris? More Like Let's Just Be Friends Phillip Morris)
The comedic relief is thus set up by the actors’ queer relationship. This is particularly interesting because McGreggor is actually gay. I wonder if he realizes that this movie could harm the queer community by playing into the one dimensional portrayal of queerness that is always presented in the entertainment business. Although a queer con man is somewhat original, McGregor’s character is stereotypical and over done because he remains naive to Carey’s cons throughout the majority of the film.
This film relates to Bakshi’s comparative analysis of Hijras and Drag Kings because as Bakshi notes that we must consider the cultural lens through which these two queer identities are viewed, we must considered the cultural lens through which this film is viewed. Is this film being directed from a queer perspective for a queer audience, from a queer perspective for a heteronormative audience or from a heteronormative perspective for a homonormative audience? The tagline for the film is “A story so incredible it could only be true.” The film was “directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, the writing team behind "Bad Santa." Based on a book by Houston Chronicle crime reporter Steve McVicker” this film was adapted for heteronormative entertainment. (About: I Love You Phillip Morris) Wikipedia note that there were issues during the production of the film. “After original difficulty finding a U.S. distributor, likely due to its explicit gay sexual content, the film was re-edited.” (Wikipedia: I Love You Phillip Morris.)

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