Did You Hear About the Morgans?
Rated PG-13; Directed by Marc Lawrence; Starring Hugh Grant, Sarah Jessica Parker, Sam Elliott, Mary Steenburgen, Elisabeth Moss, Wilford Brimley
A fascinating and amazing movie opened up this last weekend. Sadly, it was not Did You Hear About the Morgans? Yep, if you want something that fascinates and amazes go see “Avatar.” That movie is entertaining. “Did You Hear About the Morgans?” is not. Do stay far away from this inept comedy.
Hugh Grant and Sarah Jessica Parker can usually make their characters interesting, but in this film they are stuck with a bad script, making them the most irritating married couple ever. Grant is Paul Morgan, a man separated from his wife. Meryl Morgan, played by Parker, can’t forgive Paul for cheating on her. When they witness a murder, in predictable movie fashion, they find themselves stuck together in the Witness Protection program. This means the usual jokes about two uppity New Yorkers learning to survive in small town style, plus we get the obligatory hit man in these kinds of comedies, who is hunting them down.
The predictable plot points come along one right after another. Jokes about shopping at the Bargain Barn, eating at the local diner, being a Democrat in Republican country – they all come at you, but if you wait for the jokes to become funny, you’ll wait a long time. The pacing is awful. Director Marc Lawrence (Miss Congeniality, Music and Lyrics) sets up the so-called jokes that we can see coming from a mile away, then has the actors go through the weak jokes, after that he has the camera stay on the actors as if waiting for the audience to laugh uproariously. We didn’t laugh. This makes for a very uncomfortable comedy.
Hugh Grant seems lost and unable to play his usual charming self. Sarah Jessica Parker comes across as an irritating version of Sex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw. Sam Elliott and Mary Steenburgen have it the best, as the laconic sheriffs protecting the Morgans. They manage a few laughs, but most of the townspeople play the stereotypical small town characters.
Did You Hear About the Morgans? has a good cast. How sad that they couldn’t lift the predictable plot to something more enjoyable. The film has so few fun moments that you wonder why the studios made it, much less why Hugh Grant and Sarah Jessica Parker took their paychecks. Face it, the movie isn’t good. You may want to see a different movie. Did you hear about Avatar?