Cinema: Did You Hear About The Morgans?
Cast: Hugh Grant, Sarah Jessica Parker, Seth Gillingham, Sam Elliot, Mary Steenburgen
Director: Marc Lawrence
Screenwriter: Marc Lawrence
Hugh Grant returns to our screens in, guess what? Yep, you got it â€“Â another romantic comedy. This time he stars opposite Sarah Jessica Parker in Marc Lawrenceâ€™s Did You Hear about the Morgans?, Lawrence being something of a rom-com-Grant veteran having directed him previously in both Two Weeks Notice and Music and Lyrics.
SJP plays super successful New York real estate entrepreneur Meryl Morgan who is trying to come to terms with being separated from her unfaithful husband, Paul (Grant). Paul desperately tries to woo his missus back by showering her with random presents (ice sculptures, stars) until she finally agrees to go out to dinner with him. After said dinner they go to see a client of Merylâ€™s, opting to walk instead of hopping in their awaiting cars with assistants in tow. Big mistake as it turns out not just because of the aforementioned rain but because they become key witness to a murder carried out by a contract killer under orders from a mafia boss.
After an attempt on Merylâ€™s life the couple are informed by U.S Marshall Lasky (Seth Gilliam -Â Sgt. Ellis Carver from The Wire), that either they â€œdie in New York or move somewhere elseâ€?, to which Merylâ€™s response is not a â€˜yesâ€™ or â€˜noâ€™ but rather: â€œI am thinkingâ€?. And so might you if you were ordered to give up all contact with the outside world and forced to move to God-fearing and democratic-hating Ray, Wyoming. It is in this small town they are to stay with salt-of-the-earth country-folk Clay (Sam Elliot) and Emma (Mary Steenburgen) whose hobbies include shooting animals to display nicely on their walls, chopping wood and watching Clint Eastwood and John Wayne westerns.
You can expect the fish-out-of-water comedy that putting a city dwelling couple going through a rocky patch into real-life cowboy land would bring, but it is more mildly funny than out and out hilarious. Grant is his usual bumbling eye-squinting self and has a few funny turns as the wimpish Englishmen (there is no attempt to cover up his accent), particularly his attempt to talk down a roaring bear, and SJP is sweet, small and delicate as the wounded wife and she has a few funny moments of her own. Yet as with all rom-coms the chemistry between the two lead actors is of paramount importance and although SJP and Grant look and sound like a couple who might have been in love once, their chemistry is flimsy and lacking any real sexual sparkle.
Grantâ€™s act has become a tad formulaic and that’s exactly what the film is. Sticking resolutely to the genre rules, itâ€™s a predictable rom-com with a few laughs, but Grant fans will love it.
By Heidi Vella
Did You Hear About The Morgans? Is out now courtesy of Sony Pictures