I briefly thought about writing a review of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. But there are some movies that even a shirtless,muscley Jake Gyllenhall can’t save, and that movie was one of them. For all of the “action”scenes, I found myself struggling to pay attention to the story line (was there one?) and struggling to not throw my remote at the main actress on my television screen. She and Gyllenhaal’s back-and-forth “I am better than you” really got on my nerves. So, skip it.
But I wanted to write about a movie I did enjoy, so I Love You, Phillip Morris is my choice. We watched this last night and I really enjoyed it, especially after getting to the ending, and all the while knowing this was a true story… they tell you so at the beginning. I like the human nature part of the story so much that I bought a book about the main character, Steven Russell, on amazon this afternoon.
I have to be careful what I say here… I choose not to have an opinion on gay and lesbian people. I know how the Bible feels (which also says “do not judge”), I know how Hollywood feels, I know how say, the West Coast versus the deep South feels, but I choose not to “feel” or judge anything on the subject. I am a mere observer. That being said, I wanted to see this movie for what it was, a love story with a law-breaking twist, and not for who is was about.
In the beginning you meet Steven Russell, who finds out he is adopted and decides to be the most productive member of society he can be. He marries, has a kid, plays an organ in the church, is a cop… then gets in a life-threatening car accident and decides life is too short to live a lie. He comes out to his wife, moves to Florida and starts living the high (gay) life.
In order to afford his lifestyle, he assumes identities and takes to cons. Over the course of his life, he has had 14 aliases. He gets caught, goes to jail and meets Phillip Morris. They fall in love and Steven is soon transferred out. Over the course of the movie, and his life, he does what he must to stay with the love of his life.
He fakes or bluffs his was through everything; degrees, careers, impersonations. He is bold, audacious and doesn’t think twice about what he must do to prove his love and keep them together. He becomes the CFO of a company he knows nothing about, robs them blind, lives it up with Phillip in their mansion. He’s smart, observant and was able to escape prison multiple times, not to mention fake… well, I’ll leave that one unsaid. It’s best to see it, than the read it.
By then end of the movie, the love story took a back burner. I was completely blown away by what this guy managed to get away with, most of hit single-handedly without a bit of help. To know that it is a true story, and that it happened in my home state, only added to my amazement. And to the stupidity of the Texas Justice Department, though I am sure they have worked out a few “kinks” by now.
If you don’t think you can stomach a quick love scene between two men (I was caught waaaay off guard), skip the movie and read the book, or maybe just wikipedia it (though I found this info to be very lacking, hence my buying the book).
Maybe next time I get pulled over by the local law enforcement, I’ll have the balls to try and bluff my way out of a ticket by whatever means necessary, like the King of Con himself, Steven Russell.