Did You Hear About the Morgans? (12A)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner29/12/2009

Two out of Five stars
Running time: 93 mins

Disappointing romcom with a lazy, predictable plot, irritating characters, lacklustre performances and painfully unfunny set-pieces, though Grant's winning way with a one-liner just about scrapes this an extra star.

What's it all about?
Written and directed by Hugh Grant vehicle veteran Marc Lawrence (Two Weeks Notice, Music and Lyrics), Did You Hear About The Morgans? stars Hugh Grant and Sarah Jessica Parker as successful but separated New Yorkers Paul and Meryl Morgan. Seeking a reconciliation, Paul persuades Meryl to meet him for dinner but their evening takes an unexpected turn when they witness a murder and suddenly find themselves slap bang in the Witness Protection Program and whisked off to the tiny one-horse town of Ray, Wyoming.

Assigned to host and protect the Morgans are US Marshall Clay Wheeler (Sam Elliott) and his gun-loving wife Emma (Mary Steenburgen), who also find themselves having to babysit the couple as they adjust to a rural life - bears and all - without access to the internet, their Blackberries or their ever-present assistants (Elisabeth Moss and Jesse Liebman). Meanwhile, the sneaky hitman (Michael Kelly) has a few tricks up his sleeve for tracking down the Morgans and determines to eliminate them before they can testify against him.

The Bad
Hugh Grant and Sarah Jessica Parker are both seasoned romcom actors but you can tell their hearts aren't really in it, as there's no chemistry between them and they both deliver lacklustre performances. The same is true of Sam Elliott, who attempts to disappear behind his comedy moustache as Clay, while only Mary Steenburgen as his wood-choppin', gun-totin' wife seems to be having any fun.

The script is lazy and predictable throughout but its biggest problem is that Meryl is so whiny and irritating that it's hard to see why Paul wants her back in the first place. Similarly, the comedy set-pieces (Grant vs bear; both leads in pantomime cow costume in rodeo) fall embarrassingly flat, while the script fails to demonstrate exactly how the residents of Ray, Wyoming are won over by the pair and just takes it for granted instead.

The Good
That said, the film does raise the odd smile but this is entirely down to Grant's typically winning way with a one-liner.

Worth seeing?
While not exactly unwatchable, Did You Hear About The Morgans? remains a lazily scripted, largely unfunny romcom that doesn't do justice to either of its stars. Disappointing.

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Content updated: 24/10/2017 12:04

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