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dvd review: did you hear about the morgans?

Review by Kimberley Carey

This title almost reads like the introduction to one of Carrie Bradshaw’s columns (the irritating protagonist from Sex and The City), and generates the same amount of eye rolling and sarcastic responses from me.   “Did I?!”

Hugh Grant and Sarah Jessica Parker are separated couple Meryl and Paul Morgan, New Yorkers uprooted and relocated to Ray, Wyoming under witness protection. And so begin countless clichéd observations on the differences between city life and country life; “The air is too fresh,” “I can’t sleep its so quiet.”  Oh, and country people are all gun toting, cowboy hat-wearing idiots.

But wait, that isn’t where the terrible attempts of comedy and humour end, there are also a couple of scenes thrown in where Meryl Morgan forgets to use her fake name and history.

Meryl: “Hi, I’m Meryl Morgan.”

US Marshall: “I don’t think so.”

Meryl: “Excuse me, but I think I know my own name!”

Etc, etc, etc.

While this type of joke isn’t new, and is supposed to be frustratingly annoyingly funny, in this case it is just frustrating and annoying in its complete lack of originality.   Though at least this fits in with all other failed attempts at comedy throughout the movie. I mean, there are even jibes about Grant’s accent.

Grant and Parker are equally bland and lack any kind of chemistry, though I imagine (or hope rather) this is primarily due to unimaginative characterization and formulaic scriptwriting. It’s not as though Parker can’t be sassy and Grant can’t be charming: it’s just that 10 years ago Parker had Sex and the City and Grant had Notting Hill and About a Boy.

Any attempts at dealing with the complexities of relationships are lame and uninspiring.  Staring up at the stars is apparently the way in which you get your wife to forgive you for cheating, while sensible suggestions like marriage counselling are turned into an ongoing joke.

The special features include about three pointless featurettes and some outtakes and trailers. Though the commentary by director and the two leads might be worth a watch, if only for their sad attempts at justifying themselves being a part of this terrible movie.

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