Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Released Tuesday on DVD: "Did You Hear About the Morgans?"

Grade: D

Did You Hear About the Morgans? is a fish-out-of-water romantic-comedy thriller that forgets to be romantic, comedic or thrilling.

The Morgans are New York husband-and-wife yuppies (Hugh Grant, Sarah Jessica Parker), recently separated after struggling with infertility and infidelity. They see a murder. They go into hiding with the Witness Protection Program. They patch up their marriage in Wyoming while crashing in the guest bedroom of a pair of down-to-earth, meat- and gun-lovin' U.S. marshals (Sam Elliott, Mary Steenburgen).

Parker is surprised to learn that stores like Costco exist and gets really worked up about not being able to order Chinese food. Fussiness is frequently mistaken for banter, and there are hijinks involving bear repellent and a cow costume.

None of the above unfolds in an even slightly surprising manner. The dramatic stakes are weirdly low; the Morgans' marriage never seems like it's in real jeopardy, and everyone just kind of ambles politely along, including the murderer (Michael Kelly).

I have no idea why this, of all possible projects, is Grant's return to movie screens after a two-year absence. It's one of those instantly forgettable affairs that always seems to be pausing for laughter without bothering to tell any jokes first.

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