John Requa and Glenn Ficarra have been writing partners for a decade or so, but when they got the call to adapt the true story of master con artist Steven Jay Russell, they decided that this might be the perfect vehicle for their directorial debut. In a conversation that touched on censorship, the Puritans, artistic control, and the real reason the film’s release was delayed for over a year, Requa and Ficarra were sharp, witty, and boundlessly delighted with having made their film the way they wanted to.
The film is a tale of boundless love, thrilling subterfuge, and why how you say something is more important that the actual truth of what is said. Based on the true story of Steven Jay Russell as summed up by writer Steve McVicker in his book of a similar title, I Love You Phillip Morris: A True Story of Life, Love, and Prison Breaks. Jim Carrey plays the con artist who finds his soul mate, the eponymous Phillip Morris, in prison and then goes to astonishing lengths to pamper his lover, and, when sent to back prison for some of those lengths, goes to even more astonishing lengths to escape. The film co-stars Ewan McGregor as Philip Morris.