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December 23, 2009 > Movie Review: "Did You Hear About the Morgans?"

Movie Review: "Did You Hear About the Morgans?"

By Mona Shah

You'll wish you hadn't heard about the Morgan's once you see this forgettable romantic comedy. Directed by veteran writer-director Marc Lawrence ("Two Weeks Notice" and "Music and Lyrics") the preview sets high expectations, but the feature falls flat.

Hugh Grant plays Paul Morgan, a rich New York City lawyer married to successful real estate broker Meryl (Sarah Jessica Parker.) As the movie opens, Paul and Meryl's marriage is on the rocks because of Paul's infidelity. As the two are walking home from a strained dinner to work out their relationship problems, they witness a murder. They see the killer (David Kelly). The killer sees them.

Turns out, the killer is a high-priced hit man that the FBI has been hunting for years. The Morgan's are put into witness protection and whisked off to Wyoming for their safety. Their destination is Ray, a tiny hick town in the middle of nowhere. The town is awash with posters warning citizens how to react if they encounter bears. The Morgan's seem quite taken by these and bear spray which both Morgan's seem not to know how to use, as they continually spray it in Paul's eyes. This is supposed to be comical, but you guessed it... it's not.

There's a Costco-like store that the Morgan's have never even heard of, much less been to, on account of never having left New York City. But that doesn't stop Meryl from dancing with glee when she finds a $10 sweater.

Clay Wheeler (Sam Elliott), the local sheriff, and his rifle-toting wife, Emma (Mary Steenburgen), are the Morgan's hosts. The Wheelers are hospitable, and play the small town hicks to the Morgan's city slickers.

Parker spends most of her time playing the wounded victim, and there are many, many times when the actress seems even more dispirited than her character. She can't seem to shake off her New York loving character "Carrie Bradshaw." The less said about Grant the better. His rumpled look and British accent just seem old, and even his trademark stammering is forced. Both leads look like they'd rather be elsewhere, as will you.

Runtime: 103 minutes
Rated: PG-13 for some sexual references and momentary violence

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