The Los Angeles Times’ film blog, 24 Frames, just posted news that the new Jim Carrey/Ewan McGregor comedy/drama, I Love You Phillip Morris has been postponed indefinitely.
I just saw three trailers and two clips from the film via its posting on IMDB and YouTube, and I have to say there’s an interesting dilemma. First, take a look at two of the trailers and a clip and read on afterward.
Notice the difference between the two trailers? The first references Carrey’s character’s marriage, children and his Christian life. It changes suddenly after an auto accident and–poof! (pardon the pun)–he’s gay. The second concentrates solely on his being a con man, no mention of his wife, kids and Christian background. Both, however, show Carrey’s character falling in love with Phillip Morris (McGregor) in prison.
The first trailer seems to play on the conservative fears that gayness is a choice and is “sudden.” It probably would offend right-wing Christians because he leaves an admittedly happy life with his wife and children to go queer. But gays may also be offended by the notion that someone can seem to suddenly change his sexual orientation overnight and become a con man to boot.
The second trailer, though, seems much less edgy and a bit hackneyed. The first one is definitely better. The existence of two trailers so different in approach indicates to me the studio is torn as how to promote this film.
However, the clip from the movie presents an entirely new problem. It’s actually pretty poignant from my perspective and any Hollywood execs who are afraid of having a deluge of Brokeback Mountain-type parodies as a result of two high profile actors being lovers might balk at this movie’s release. This is, of course, in addition to Carrey’s annoyance factor, which does turn off some viewers. Carrey seems to play his character broadly, as he’s performed in some family friendly comedies, but this is R-rated. Will it play as well towards adults? Also, is this rating a result of the MPAA, once again, getting freaked out on all things homo? I think we might know the answer to that question, as I’m not getting any signal from any of the trailers I’ve seen that this is going to get raunchy.
All that being said, I have to admit, I would like to check this film out.