We're not in Manhattan anymore
Director: Marc Lawrence
Cast: Hugh Grant, Sarah Jessica Parker, Sam Elliott, Mary Steenburgen, Elisabeth Moss, Michael Kelly, Wilford Brimley
RunTime: 1 hr 43 mins
Released By: Columbia TriStar
Official Website: http://www.didyouhearaboutthemorgans.com/
Opening Day: 7 January 2010
The comedy "Did You Hear About the Morgans?" follows a highly
successful Manhattan couple, Meryl and Paul Morgan (Sarah
Jessica Parker and Hugh Grant), whose almost-perfect lives
have only one notable failure – their dissolving marriage.
But the turmoil of their romantic lives is nothing compared
to what they are about to experience: they witness a murder
and become targets of a contract killer. The Feds, protecting
their witnesses, whisk away the Morgans from their beloved
New York to a tiny town in Wyoming, and a relationship that
was on the rocks threatens to end completely in the Rockies...
unless, in their new BlackBerry-free lives, the Morgans can
slow down the pace and rekindle the passion.
Did you know that Hugh Grant and Sarah Jessica Parker were
together in a movie once? Yes it was all the way back in 1996
when Grant and Parker were in the medical thriller "Extreme
Measures". That unfortunately turned out to be a dud-
which is probably the reason why you hadn’t heard of
it. Chances are, you’re not likely to remember their
second pairing together either- for "Did You Hear About
the Morgans?" is just as dull and just as forgettable.
Morgans refer to the 3-month separated Paul (Hugh Grant) and
Meryl (Sarah Jessica Parker) who live in New York- one of
them a lawyer and the other a successful real-estate agent.
The reason for their estrangement? Paul’s infidelity-
which he blames on Meryl’s obsession with trying to
conceive. Paul wants to get back together but Meryl doesn’t,
so they bicker- though in a nice, genial way.
and genial is how writer/director Marc Lawrence has built
his Hollywood career, from movies such as "Forces of
Nature" to "Miss Congeniality" to the more
recent "Two Weeks Notice" and "Music and Lyrics".
Here Lawrence tries to fashion a fish-out-of-water tale using
the formula of a romantic comedy, by getting the Morgans to
enter the Witness Relocation Program after being accidental
witnesses to a murder.
from their comfortable city-lives in New York City, the Morgans
move to a classic American small town in Ray, Wyoming. With
little imagination, Lawrence recycles every cliché
about rural life Hollywood knows- the townsfolk play poker,
display deer heads in their living room but are always nice,
genuine and friendly (yes, that includes the obligatory cantankerous
Paul and Meryl are off riding horses and shooting guns, appreciating
their newfound life and the simple pleasures within. Have
we seen this somewhere? You bet, in countless other movies
in fact, and Lawrence doesn’t do much to make it any
less predictable than it already is. What he does is throw
in some semi-witty quips between Paul and Meryl as they try
to sort out their personal issues in between running away
from a bear and other mildly amusing setups.
if the movie is too banal as a fish-out-of-water tale, it
is even worse as a romantic comedy. Though stars in their
own right, Grant and Parker share little chemistry next to
each other. Grant’s English charm that made his earlier
two films with Lawrence pleasantly watchable is surprisingly
nonexistent here. Rather, he wears a dour face most of the
time, putting on the same grimace from scene to scene. Paired
with a perpetually-whiny Parker, the two can’t seem
to connect with each other onscreen, let alone with their
only bright spark in the movie is its two co-stars, Sam Elliott
and Mary Steenburgen, who play guardians to Grant and Parker.
Elliott is especially funny as the laconic Sheriff Clay Wheeler,
exasperated at having to put up with the couple’s constant
quarreling. As Wheeler’s wife, Steenburgen makes for
a merry, vivacious presence and a good foil next to her more
But this movie isn’t about them- it’s about the
Morgans, two people separated from their marriage but whom
you know will rekindle their passion by the end of the movie.
Sadly, neither their romance nor their out-of-water experience
is really funny or entertaining- no thanks to the lack of
chemistry between Hugh Grant and Sarah Jessica Parker. Have
you heard about their pairing? After this movie, you’d
wish you hadn’t.
(Did you hear about the Morgans? You needn’t
and shouldn’t bother either way)
Review by Gabriel Chong