Mar 16

Tom Baker (Chiba-ken, 1989-91) is a staff writer for The Daily Yomiuri. A big part of his beat is the Pop Culture page, which covers manga, anime and video games. You can follow Tom’s blog at

He also writes movie reviews. Here is an excerpt from a recent review of “I Love You Phillip Morris,” in which Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor play Steven and Phillip, the lead characters in a gay romantic-comedy/prison-break film that is based on a true story. It opens March 17 in Britain and April 30 in the United States, but is already playing in Japan.

McGregor’s sweet and naive Phillip is totally believable. Harmlessly meek and far too trusting, yet somehow uttering the lion’s share of the laugh lines, he makes you want to protect him, which is also how Steven feels. “You only see the good in people,” marvels Steven, whose own outlook is far more cynical.

Carrey, who does appear in good movies now and then, is not always as believable in his role, but this is appropriate since he plays a chronic fake who is always trying on new identities and tells lies to everyone he meets. Late in the movie, when Steven tries to prove his love by revealing his true self to Phillip, he can’t really do it.

Steven is a criminal who went to prison because he belonged there. But his scams are amusing because his wealthy victims are entertainingly depicted (fairly or not) as crude, pompous fools. And his various prison escapes are amazing. In one, he uses felt-tip markers and toilet water to dye his prison uniform green, enabling him to walk right out in the guise of a visiting doctor…

Read the rest of the article here.

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