Jim Carrey's goofy, comic acting was originally blasted by critics. They eventually came around when he tried more challenging roles.

Jim Carrey's goofy, comic acting was originally blasted by critics. They eventually came around when he tried more challenging roles.

It was like the revelation when Adam Sandler was in "Punch Drunk Love." Only Sandler too quickly returned to dick and fart jokes.

"I Love You Phillip Morris" is the best of both worlds for Carrey, a role with both emotional heft and manic comedy.

Steven Russell (Carrey) is a small-town policeman who is both happily married and secretly gay. An accident delivers a "life's too short" message, so Steven decides to come way, way out.

His flamboyant lifestyle causes a dilemma, as he notes, "Being gay is expensive." So he becomes a con artist. And ends up in jail. And falls in love with a fellow prisoner named Phillip Morris (a doe-eyed and excellent Ewan McGregor).

Based on a "too ridiculous to not be" true story, "Phillip Morris" is a bit of dark silliness that's more fun than meaningful. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

It's equal parts "Catch Me If You Can," "Brokeback Mountain" and "Raising Arizona." In a good way.

This is definitely not for the easily offended - it's from the writers of "Bad Santa." But it's one of Carrey's best movies yet.