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Review: Did You Hear About the Morgans?

Dec. 17, 2009by: Chris Bumbray

PLOT: After witnessing a murder, an estranged Manhattan couple (Hugh Grant, & Sarah Jessica Parker) are entered into the witness relocation program. They're sent to Ray, Wyoming, where they're put in the care of a gun-toting, husband & wife, Sheriff/Deputy team (Sam Elliot & Mary Steenburgen).

REVIEW: DID YOU HEAR ABOUT THE MORGANS? delivers exactly what you'd expect from a Hugh Grant/ Sarah Jessica Parker rom-com. He plays his normal, befuddled self, while she pretty much plays Samantha from SEX & THE CITY, although this is decidedly more family friendly. It's all very formulaic, and doesn't hold any twists or surprises, but it's pleasant enough, thanks mostly to the always dependable Grant.

While I can't say I care much for his films (except ABOUT A BOY, or any of his films with Richard Curtis), Grant's got an easy-going enough presence that's always good for a chuckle or two. While it would be nice to see him stretch himself occasionally, his films make enough money that I suppose he feels that he shouldn't fix something that isn't broken, although, in this case, the formula is stretched pretty damn thin.

In many ways, this film plays like Hugh Grant's greatest hits. It's got the heartsick Grant we loved in FOUR WEDDINGS & A FUNERAL, along with occasional flashes of the cynical Grant from ABOUT A BOY, and finally, the self-deprecating Grant from MUSIC & LYRICS. It re-teams him with director Marc Lawrence, who previously directed him in TWO WEEKS NOTICE, and MUSIC & LYRICS, and this film is just like those films. It's lighter than light, and allows Grant to trade barbs with Parker, and screw around with Bart The Bear, while simultaneously putting him opposite people like Sam Elliot and Wilfred Brimley who couldn't be further removed from the prat-falling Grant. Overall, the effect is hardly earth-shattering, but it's pleasant enough to make the 100 minute running time not seem too torturous,

However, there's a painfully unfunny subplot about Grant & Parker's dueling assistants (one of whom is played by MAD MEN's Elizabeth Moss) that should have been axed from the film. Also, I can't say I'm too much of a Sarah Jessica Parker fan, and her chemistry with Grant is non-existent.

Still, I didn't hate DID YOU HEAR ABOUT THE MORGANS?. It's far better than other recent rom-coms like BRIDE WARS, THE UGLY TRUTH, and GHOSTS OF GIRLFRIENDS' PAST, but it hardly feels like the type of film to release around the holidays, as anyone looking for a good romance would be better advised to check out UP IN THE AIR. This is a DVD rental at most, but for what it is, it ain't bad.

RATING: 5.5/10

Source: JoBlo.com

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