Saturday, January 02, 2010

Did You Hear About the Morgans?

A Misfire

Marc Lawrence makes it a triple whammy in romantic comedies with actor Hugh Grant, but while Two Weeks Notice and Music and Lyrics which I unabashedly enjoyed, Did You Hear About the Morgans is too contrived and too formulaic for it to work wonders, and in some ways mirror the recent The Proposal about a neurotic woman who finds herself like a fish out of water once relocated away from the big city and into a small town, this time in Ray, Wyoming as part of a witness protection programme.

I still can't quite fathom the appeal of Sarah Jessica Parker that she's really not cut out for anything remotely romantic out of her highly successful Sex and the City series, and minor plastic surgery aside, one does get tired with the often neurotic and whiny roles that she plays. Hello, it's not adorable, just plain irritating, and her pairing up with Hugh Grant the puppy dog lover is a very big misfire as they seem to want to perform a leg up over the other, and really come across as adversaries rather than a couple looking toward reconciliation.

This lack of chemistry tanks what is so essential in a romance. Comedy wise, there are a few one liners which are funny enough, but those belong to Sam Elliot, whose small town sheriff easily steals the show from Hugh Grant, who plays a man quite similar to his real life escapades, cheating on his companion and then finding himself working ten times harder to get back to her good books. His Paul Morgan is a highly successful lawyer trying to woo back his estranged wife Meryl (SJ Parker), an equally successful real estate agent, except that their busy schedules do not permit much of an interaction.

Then there's this needless subplot about the romantic entanglements of their personal assistants, which is more of a side show phony probably thrown in to extend the runtime. The rest of the film follows a wash-rinse-repeat cycle, with the Morgans trying to reconnect in a farmhouse out of nowhere, while interacting with the residents of the town who seem to keep double and triple jobs, and enlightening the couple out of their materialistic ways. And then they bicker some more, reconcile a little, and really, it'll come to a point that you will be rooting for the assassin to succeed in putting one of them out to end your misery.

It's such a lacklustre affair that you don't really want to hear about the Morgans, or want to care at all. Marc Lawrence really needs to break out of Hugh's shadow and believe that he can make movies without him, or come up with a better pairing since his brand of formula has seen better days with Sandra Bullock and Drew Barrymore, who bring much more to the table than Sarah Jessica Parker. Enough of the whining already!

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