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'I Love You Phillip Morris': A look at the film's rocky road to release

Carey and McGregor

Carey and McGregor Credit: Handout

There was a time when all a movie needed to guarantee its success was Jim Carrey’s name in lights.

So it’s strange to consider the case of Carrey’s “I Love You Phillip Morris,” which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2009 and is finally being released in theaters Friday after a long road of delays and legal action.

amNewYork offers some things you need to know about the star’s latest flick:

Not a typical Carrey flick
The film is no “Ace Ventura.” It tells the story of a married small town policeman turned con man (Carrey) who falls in love with cellmate Phillip Morris (Ewan McGregor) during a stint in jail and then conspires to break him out.

Buyers balk
Despite its star power, the film was not picked up for distribution at Sundance. The usual buyers were afraid to take a chance on the film in no small part because of an explicit gay sex scene, SlashFilm reported.

Rocky road to release
“I Love You Phillip Morris” was finally picked up for distribution by Consolidated Pictures Group months later. The company went on to miss three scheduled domestic release dates: Feb. 12, March 26 and April 30 of this year.

Legal wrangling
Disturbed by the repeated delays and financial concerns surrounding CPG, financier Luc Besson and producers Andrew Lazar and Far Shariat successfully sued for control of the movie this summer, Deadline reported. It’s being released on Friday by Roadside Attractions, handlers of the acclaimed “Winter’s Bone” and upcoming “Biutiful.”

Could Jim Carrey’s career be in trouble?
No one needs “I Love You Phillip Morris” to succeed more than its star. Carrey, 48, has been at a career crossroads for years now. His recent forays at comedy (“Fun With Dick and Jane,” “Yes Man”) were critical and commercial underperformers. His recent dramas (“The Number 23”) haven’t taken either.

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