Left: Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, I Love You Phillip Morris, 2009, color film in 35 mm, 100 minutes. Production still. Right: Park Chan-wook, Thirst, 2009, color film in 35 mm, 135 minutes. Production still.


JOURNALISTS AT CANNES are always eager to sniff out trends and themes, and many have noted that 2009 may be the bloodiest on record: Gallons of the red stuff have either spurted or, as in Park Chan-wook’s vampire tale, Thirst, been consumed. But with Thanatos comes Eros, and several films at this year’s festival—particularly in the Directors’ Fortnight—have obliterated the Kinsey scale.

After being introduced by Fortnight artistic director Olivier Pre as a “genuine genius,” Jim Carrey, who stars with Ewan McGregor in the gay romantic comedy I Love You Phillip Morris (which premiered at Sundance in January), bounded to the stage to thank the film’s directors, Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, for telling the true story of an ex-cop-turned–con man who falls in love with a fellow jail-mate with “grace, intelligence, and humor, without pandering to antiquated sensibilities.” Turns out Carrey wasn’t just jive talking: The manic actor plays a far superior romantic lead than he did in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004), determined to do anything for McGregor—whose love scene with Carrey surpasses the lust he shared with Christian Bale in Velvet Goldmine (1998).

Lynn Shelton’s Humpday, another US comedy that premiered at Sundance (“Contemporary American comedies have grown more and more interesting in recent years,” Pre told Daily Variety last month), finds two straight dudes—one married and about to start a family, the other a hairy free spirit—who set out to prove how boundary breaking they are by making a homo porn film starring themselves. Alain Guiraudie’s comedy The King of Escape starts with the opposite premise: Armand, a hefty middle-aged gay tractor salesman, takes a fancy to a sixteen-year-old girl named Curly; vigorous alfresco shtupping follows, which expands to include a gathering of randy old coots and gerontophiles. As for sapphic urges, Yorgos Lanthimos’s Un Certain Regard title, Dogtooth, has been the only film—so far—to include lady-lady pleasuring, though some may contend bartering cunnilingus for a sparkly headband isn’t all that romantic.

Melissa Anderson