Film Review with Robert Mann – Did You Hear About the Morgans?

Did You Hear About the Morgans? *½

If I had to name just one film star whose name is synonymous with romantic comedies it would undoubtedly be Hugh Grant. The star of many of the most beloved British romcoms as well as a number of (somewhat less popular) American ones, he is a staple of the genre, so much so that any attempts on his part to make it in other genres have resulted in failure. Now, for his latest American romantic comedy Did You Hear About the Morgans? he is joined by another frequent romance star in the form of Sarah Jessica Parker for a film that may well be the make or break of Hugh Grant’s future in the romcom genre. But is this film a worthy addition to the extremely crowded romantic comedy genre or does it follow the path of several of 2009’s Hollywood romantic comedies in being mediocrity and forgettable? Sadly, it is the latter and it appears that Hugh Grant’s glory days in romantic comedies are behind him.

Meryl Morgan (Sarah Jessica Parker) and her husband Paul (Hugh Grant) are a highly successful Manhattan couple, but their marriage is a disaster. Paul tries to cajole Meryl into seeing a relationship counsellor, but his wife isn’t sure if there’s any hope left. Just when things seemingly couldn’t get any worse, Paul and Meryl witness a murder. To prevent the killer from going after the Morgans, the FBI place them in the Witness Relocation Programme – Meryl protests, “I can’t commit to spending the rest of my life with my husband”. The Morgans are flown to the mountains of Wyoming and place in the care of Sheriff Clay Wheeler (Sam Elliott) and his wife and deputy Emma (Mary Steenburgen). Can bumbling Paul and acid-tongued Meryl rediscover the love that brought them together in the first place?

Did You Hear About the Morgans? gets 2010 off to an extremely disappointing start. What looked like it could have been a really enjoyable, if obvious and predictable, romantic comedy is instead an exercise in the many things that can be done wrong with a romcom. A major problem at the heart of the film is that Hugh Grant and Sarah Jessica Parker are definitely not on top form here and, as a result, not only are they particularly good individually but they also don’t have that great a chemistry. Of course, this can’t be all blamed on them, as they are given little to actually work with. Their characters are both rather predictable stereotypes, the situations they find themselves in, while occasionally amusing, for the most part aren’t very funny and the romance often finds itself sidelined in favour of weak gags. Consequently, this is a film that fails to really deliver in the romance department, a major problem considering that the film also largely fails to deliver in the comedy department either, even if it does have moments that will raise a few giggles. The rest of the cast don’t really fare any better than Grant or Parker either, also being given rather stereotypical and obvious roles to play, although Sam Elliott and Mary Steenburgen do manage to be fairly amusing at times. So, overall, Did You Hear About the Morgans? is yet another mediocre romantic comedy that definitely had potential but is let down by the weak writing and direction of head honcho Marc Lawrence. Undemanding viewers may get a bit of enjoyment out of it but generally this film just isn’t worth the price of the cinema ticket. Obviously you’ve heard about the Morgans, but you definitely won’t care.


Review by Robert Mann BA (Hons)

© BRWC 2010.

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Alton loves film. He is founder and Editor In Chief of BRWC.  Some of the films he loves are Rear Window, Superman 2, The Man With The Two Brains, Clockwise, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, Trading Places, Stir Crazy and Punch-Drunk Love.



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