Rajeev Masand – movies that matter : from bollywood, hollywood and everywhere else

January 15, 2010

Mismatched Morgans

Filed under: Their Films — Rajeev @ 1:24 am

January 15, 2010

Cast: Hugh Grant, Sarah Jessica Parker

Director: Marc Lawrence

Did You Hear About the Morgans? stars Hugh Grant and Sarah Jessica Parker as unhappily married New York couple Paul and Meryl, who have separated for reasons that are far from uncommon – he slept with another woman, and she doesn’t know how to deal with it.

Remorseful and desperate to get back together, he invites her out to dinner to discuss a reconciliation. But as luck would have it, before the evening’s ended they witness a murder. What’s more they get a good look at the hitman, who in turn gets an even better look at them. You know what happens next. They’re whisked off on a witness relocation program to rural Wyoming.

From this point on it’s a fish-out-of water story in which these condescending Manhattan-ites survive a close encounter with a grizzly bear, and pick up all sorts of small-town lifestyle skills including wood-chopping, cow-milking, and gun-shooting before falling right back in love with each other just as the hitman on their trail lands up to eliminate them.

A by-the-numbers, formulaic rom-com that leaves little to the imagination, and almost everything to the actors’ charms, Did You Hear About the Morgans? feels contrived and conventional and sorely lacking in originality.

Sarah Jessica Parker is insufferably neurotic from her very first scene in the film, in which she starts yakking away to total strangers about her biological clock and her decision to adopt. Hugh Grant, meanwhile, has done this kind of film so many times before, he appears to be on auto-pilot mode, though you can still count on him to deliver the occasional witty line as if he’s come up with it spontaneously.

Problem is they have virtually no chemistry together, and it doesn’t help that in terms of plot there is nothing that you can’t guess before it happens on screen. Which makes this roughly 100-minute film a true test of your patience.

I’m going with one-and-a-half out of five for Did You Hear About the Morgans? Lucky for you I did, so you don’t have to.

(This review first aired on CNN-IBN)

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