Did You Hear About the Morgans? Review
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Writer/director Marc Lawrence seems to have come up with a sure-fire formula for his films: chick flick plot + Hugh Grant + a smattering of pithy, self-deprecating one-liners + whichever romantic lead the girls seem to love these days (Drew Barrymore in Music and Lyrics and Sandra Bullock in Two Weeks Notice). It’s all pretty predictable—but I’m not about to criticize a formula that, generally, still works.

In Lawrence’s latest, Did You Hear About the Morgans? Grant’s love interest du jour is every girl’s favorite New Yorker, Sarah Jessica Parker, who plays Meryl Morgan, a successful real estate agent who’s taking over New York one apartment at a time. The only thing missing in her life is a family—but she and her husband, Paul (Grant), have been separated for three months, and she’s not exactly eager to get back together.

Unfortunately, though, she doesn’t have much of a choice. After having dinner together one night, Meryl and Paul witness a hit on one of her clients. The government intends to use them as key witnesses in a big organized crime case—but, until the killer is caught and the case is ready, the Morgans aren’t safe in New York. So they’re relocated to the tiny town of Ray, Wyoming—where the people are friendly, the air is clean, and the Morgans are completely out of their element.

With nothing better to do, the Morgans finally start talking to each other—but then Meryl makes a critical mistake, putting them both in danger.

From the opening minutes of Did You Hear About the Morgans? you’ll most likely be able to map out the entire movie without much difficulty. But Lawrence clearly has the formula figured out—because it seems as though Hugh Grant really can make anything entertaining. The story is predictable—and Sarah Jessica Parker is a deadly combination of haggard and shrill—yet Grant and his jaunty one-liners still manage to brighten the film time and time again. As always, he’s sweet and self-deprecating, and he can charm his way out of anything—and, somehow, despite the major role his character played in his separation, you just can’t help but love him.

But, then again, I suppose that’s Hugh Grant in a nutshell, isn’t it? Whether in the movies or in real life, that self-deprecating British charm has gotten him out of more than one awkward situation. In fact, I’m pretty sure that no jury on the planet would ever be able to convict him, no matter how heinous the crime. With a grin and a shrug and a clever one-liner, he’d be back on the street.

Still, Grant isn’t on his own here; he has plenty of help in making Morgans an entertaining (though formulaic) romcom. Though Parker isn’t exactly lovable, the quirky supporting cast is. From the Morgans’ over-eager assistants to their new “family,” Clay and Emma Wheeler (Sam Elliot and Mary Steenburgen), to the various residents of Ray, the supporting characters provide more than their share of laughs.

Did You Hear About the Morgans? takes full advantage of Lawrence’s sure-fire chick flick formula. So although you’ve heard the story before, Grant’s irresistible charm—and Lawrence’s talent for writing witty one-liners—makes it an enjoyable experience anyway.

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