Reel Society

Reviews for the latest movies in theaters and on DVD.

Did You Hear About the Morgans?


Review by Mark David Campbell

I have two requisites when it comes to romantic comedies:  it has to be funny, and the leading actor and actress have to have good on-screen chemistry.  Being a fan of a lot of Hugh Grant’s past work, I went into Did You Hear About the Morgans? with the greatest of hopes.  Sadly, neither of my requisites even came close to being met.

In this film, Grant plays Paul, a rich lawyer who is attempting to win back his wife, Meryl (Sarah Jessica Parker), who is one of the big sharks in the New York real estate market.  They are separated, but given that he’s an admitted adulterer, she is less than enthusiastic regarding a reconciliation.

Things get worse for them when after an attempt to patch things up over dinner, they witness a murder.  And since the murderer was not immediately caught, the government ships them off to the boonies – or, to be more precise, backwoods Wyoming – to hide.  There, they will be looked after by a local sheriff (Sam Elliott) and his gun-toting wife (Mary Steenburgen).

Of course, this being a “fish-out-of-water” film mashed together with a “witness protection” film, you know how the rest of the movie will play out.  And even that wouldn’t have been so bad if there had been an ounce of humor in the trite, formulaic plot, but there wasn’t.  Most of the script was comprised of awful conversations between Paul and Meryl, who are trying to find a modicum of trust in their relationship, a fact made even more grating by the fact that the two of them don’t click on any level.

Director Marc Lawrence, who achieved some success with Grant as a leading man in past efforts like Two Weeks Notice and Music and Lyrics, forces us to swallow his philosophies on rural life, who are unfairly portrayed as backwoods hicks.  The bona fide city slickers’ attempts to cope with their new surroundings is almost vomit-inducing, and the grizzly bear scene that appeared in the trailer was almost painful to watch.

I can only hope that Grant, at some point, realizes that hitching his wagon to Lawrence could end up being career suicide.  At least Sarah J. has Carrie to fall back on.

1 ½ / 5 stars

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