I don’t like to talk about two movies in the same post, but I will make exception for The Tourist and I Love You Phillip Morris since they both suffer from the same problem – a totally distracting choice of voice by a lead actor.
The Tourist, starring Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp is a slow, boring ride. Directed by Henckel von Donnersmarck (say that fast five times), the movie does a lot to show off the city of Venice, but does nothing to propel the story or make its characters come alive. The most annoying thing is Angelina Jolie’s choice of voice for her supposedly tres elegant, mannerly character. The fake British accent is worse than the one she put on for Laura Croft. And her habit of setting her jaw tightly and looking off into the distance, beautifully of course, is becoming really, really old. Her reliance of her dazzling beauty to propel the story forward is a triumphant failure in this film. Unfortunately, Johnny Depp does very little to fix things. Its almost as if he’s recycling the same performance from The Ninth Gate and Secret Window. Perhaps the two were enjoying the Italian sites too much to bring their A-game to the film. Disappointing…incredibly disappointing. What makes the whole thing even more laughable is that both were nominated for Golden Globes – in the musical/comedy category!!!
Really? Hollywood Foreign Press??? Have you been smoking salvia with Miley Cyrus??
Now for I Love You Phillip Morris. Where The Tourist fails, this film succeeds. Steven Russell is a smart, yet slightly demented, con man brilliantly played by Jim Carey (the best performance by the strange funny man in years!) The plot is expertly written and directed with just the right amount twists and turns by the writer-directors Glenn Ficara and John Requa. Based on a true story, Russell is sent to jail and falls in love with a fellow inmate Phillip Morris (no relation to the tobacco company and played by Ewan McGregor). Phillip Morris is a gentile gay Southern gentleman and the voice that McGregor chooses to use, much like his performance in Big Fish but with grander attempts of softness, sounds like Dustin Hoffman in Tootsie. I kept expecting Hoffman to show up in his Tootsie attire and demand McGregor to cease and desist. It is so distracting, that you are removed from the film a little bit in the scenes where McGregor appears. But don’t let that keep you from seeing it. The long overdue performance from Carey makes it totally worth seeing.