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DID YOU HEAR ABOUT THE MORGAN ?, 2009
In New York City, an estranged couple (Grant and Parker) who witness a murder are relocated to small-town Wyoming as part of a witness-protection program.
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Itís a shame that Hugh Grant seems content with playing the same character in the same type of films. I honestly think he is a fine actor, films such as Notting Hill and Nine Months both use the same type of character but are fun to watch. But here, there is just no script, no direction, and the actors are getting by with reading their lines and going to the next scene. There is nothing new here, leaving you with no reason to go out and see it.
I mentioned Notting Hill earlier, and while Hughís new film is different in story, the character is the same. But thatís not to say it doesnít work and Hugh should give that up. No not at all. Itís just, do something new with him. It feels like the same character has gone from one movie to the next and never appears to have any new to offer. Itís Hugh Grant being Hugh Grant. If youíve seen all of his others film, in particular Music and Lyrics, with Drew Barrymore, than do you really need to see this one? No.
After witnessing a murder, Hugh and Sarah are forced to find a new place to stay until their pursuers are found. Their new place is a small town in Wyoming where the local sheriff (Eliiot) takes them under his care. What follows next is the typical slapstick humor, jokes about the rugged cowboy life, and the obvious culture clash between city life versus the laid out back outdoors life. Like I said nothing new. However itís interesting to note that director/writer Marc Lawrence has made a few romantic comedies prior; Music and Lyrics, Two Weeks Notice, and Forces of Nature. While not the greatest of romantic comedies, they certainly proved more witty and entertaining than his new film. There is chemistry between Hugh and Sarah, each showing enough charm and likability to survive the first 15 minutes. But the movie is 103 minutes, so youíre not quite done yet.
There are dramatic moments throughout that work at times. Their marriage is slowly dissolving and they struggle to try and maintain it, despite their recent situation. Both Hugh and Sarah have a few nice moments together that make you think that Lawrence is picking up speed, and weíre finally going in a direction, one worth watching.
But honestly itís not enough. Half the time Hugh is apologizing to Sarah, and itís never funny, just feels awkward to watch. How can these two be married? There is, or was, a lot of potential here, and unfortunately they never hit the right notes, or even try. Itís really disappointing, especially since I am a fan of both.
Which is why I recommend seeing their other films because this honestly feels, and I hate to say this, like they just took the money and ran. There is so much potential; a failing marriage, rediscovering their love, adapting to a new life, a great cast and beautiful scenery. This should be a winner. Did you hear about the Morgans? Well, if you did, itís a shame.