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Did You Hear About the Morgans? (2009)

Starring:

Elisabeth Moss

Hugh GrantHugh Grant

Jesse Liebman

Mary Steenburgen

Michael Kelly

Natalia Klimas

Sam ElliottSam Elliott

Sarah Jessica ParkerSarah Jessica Parker

Directed by:

Marc Lawrence

Rating: 4/10

Did You Hear About the Morgans? is a title just ripe for the mocking, and in some ways, it deserves it. Did You Hear About the Movie Where You Could Predict the Jokes Before They Were Made? Really, though, from the minute the commercials started, it was obvious exactly where this film would fall on the page of genres—totally forgettable romantic comedy (of sorts) that will be forgotten about four seconds after leaving the theater. It’s not offensive or anything, and with a glut of Oscar contenders set to come out in the next few weeks it’s nice to have a fall back piece of mindless puff, but for actual laughs, I’d recommend renting something from these actors that’s good, like Four Weddings and a Funeral or even Sex and the City.

Formulaic though it may be with its “city folks end up in the country” motif, at least the premise is a little different than most recent romantic comedies. Paul and Meryl Morgan (Hugh Grant and Sarah Jessica Parker) are a couple struggling to stay together who, unfortunately, find their attempts at reconciliation waylaid when they witness a pesky homicide. To keep them safe, they’re placed in the Witness Relocation Program in Wyoming, and mildly wacky shenanigans occur.

There are a few bright spots to be found in this otherwise forgettable chickiest of flicks, namely the woodsy Wheelers with whom the Morgans find themselves staying (Sam Elliott and Mary Steenburgen); these are two actors who elevate just about anything they’re in to a little bit higher level. Also, Grant—if you’re a Grant fan—is his usual slightly jittery self, though his script isn’t as funny as in past movies, so it’s more a matter of just kind of laughing out of familiarity. Parker does her thing competently, though I suspect this was something she did just to stay in audience minds before the SATC sequel. As for the story itself, it goes through all the motions at a decent pace, and while nothing stands out as especially funny or clever (and the whole bear scene so heavily promoted in the previews isn’t any better in context), I did chuckle a few times, and again, the performers are likeable enough to sustain. I won’t be running out to buy this when it’s released on DVD, and I wouldn’t recommend paying full ticket price, but if you’re looking for a film to pass some harmless, mindless time between special effects extravaganzas and Academy Award dramas, this will let your mind sleep for about 100 minutes.

It's Got: Hugh Grant, a few funny moments, good supporting cast

It Needs: Better jokes, low expectations

Summary

Hugh Grant is kind of funny, and you won’t have to think too much, but there’s not a whole lot to recommend about this bland, mediocre romantic comedy.

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