â€œDID YOU HEAR ABOUT THE MORGANS? They are boring.â€
Did you hear all that snoring? That should have been the title of the new romantic comedy from writer director Marc Lawrence. DID YOU HEAR ABOUT THE MORGANS? has a nice story to build upon but a lack of chemistry and some ho-hum performances makes this a film that will have most dozing off in their theater seats. And remember, I actually like this genre of film. I am mainly surprised considering that Lawrence has a few decent scripts under his belt along with a long run with TV’s Family Ties.
The story takes off fairly quickly. You have a separated couple who have yet to file for divorce. Meryl Morgan (Sarah Jessica Parker) has no desire to reconcile with her husband Paul (Hugh Grant). Paul on the other hand wants desperately to patch things up. When this tried and true Manhattan couple stumble upon a mob style murder they find themselves witness relocated to a small Wyoming town until the trial. While there they must not only get used to a slow paced way of life but also confront the anger and hurt that is keeping them apart.
As I said this is a decent foundation to build on but a couple of things keep this from being a top notch movie. One, there is no on screen chemistry between Parker and Grant. It is hard to imagine them together so you never truly involve yourself in their journey. Two, everything seems to move at a rehearsal pace. What I mean by that is none of the actors (who are all capable of delivering) seem comfortable enough with their characters to really breathe life into them. It is like they were handed the script the day before shooting. The only believable role is Sam Elliot as a cowboy/rancher/sheriff. But Sam can pull that off in his sleep.
The only redemptive moments are the sarcastic one-liners from Grant who is very funny in this film. Without him I am not sure if I would have uttered even a chuckle. There is always the comedy element of big city New Yorkers living life in a one horse town. All the clichÃ© townspeople and predictable situations are utilized. I often wonder what people who live in those towns think about these films. Or if they are too busy really enjoying life to care much.
DID YOU HEAR ABOUT THE MORGANS? is rated PG-13 for some sexual references and momentary violence. I honestly found nothing offensive about this film. The fact that it deals with divorce and the heaviness of that theme might be one thing to consider. But otherwise it is safe for nearly everyone. Though not recommended for many. I give it 2 out of 5 starry nights. Only the true blue, die hard fans of romantic comedies will get their moneys worth from this one. And even they might be better off waiting for the DVD. So says Matt Mungle
Matt Mungle (firstname.lastname@example.org)
(2 out of 5)
Review copyright 2009 Mungleshow Productions. Used by Permission.