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  Publicity Stills of
"Did You Hear About The Morgans?"
(Courtesy of Columbia TriStar)

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
Rating: PG
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.

Movie Review:

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.

The 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.

Nice 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.

So 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 old man).

Soon, 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.

But 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 audience.

The 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 languid husband.

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.

Movie Rating:

(Did you hear about the Morgans? You needn’t and shouldn’t bother either way)

Review by Gabriel Chong


. Four Christmases (2008)

. Sex And The City (2008)

. Music And Lyrics (2007)

. Failure To Launch (2006)

. The Family Stone (2005)


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