Blu-ray Review: Did You Hear About the Morgans? (2009)

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As a premise alone, there's something instantaneously amusing in imagining Sex and the City's own die hard New Yorker Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) and The Englishmen Who Went Up a Hill but Came Down a Mountain (Hugh Grant) stuck in a cowboy town called Cody, Wyoming. And it's this idea that gets milked for all it's worth in the easily charming if formulaic and non-challenging comedy of remarriage rom-com entry, Did You Hear About the Morgans?

Ill-timed at the box office in arriving at the local multiplex during the same period as another sleeping with my estranged husband Golden Globe nominated offering, It's Complicated starring Meryl Streep, while I can't judge that movie as I have yet to see it, I can say that I did get a kick out of Morgans in a nice, Saturday evening or mildly diverting in-flight movie mode.

As the third collaboration between writer/director Marc Lawrence and actor Hugh Grant, while it's a vast improvement over the recycled feeling of the big screen comedic send-up of VH1 Behind the Music-lite Music and Lyrics, Morgans doesn't have the same level of immediate sexual tension and tennis style volleying back and forth of lines that Grant had with co-star Sandra Bullock in the superior Two Weeks Notice.

Yet this isn't Sarah Jessica Parker's fault to say the least as the two are so darn likable individually and given enough jokes to build up some momentum as it continues, overall, Morgans' humor is more situational than conversational which suffers when Lawrence pulls out the old when animals attack scenario of Hugh Grant opposite a grizzly bear or Sarah Jessica Parker opposite a horse or bull.

Given ample comedic support by a no-nonsense gun-slinging Wyoming version of an Elmore Leonard style Annie Oakley in Mary Steenburgen as the wife of US Marshall Sam Elliott, the film finds the separated married couple thrown together in the Witness Protection Program after they witness a murder together back in New York City.

With a hitman on their tail that's nearly nabbed Meryl Morgan (Parker) once already by bursting into her apartment and forcing her out on a ledge, the two ditch their BlackBerry phones and their co-dependent assistants (including Mad Men's own Elisabeth Moss) for their new identity as the Fosters from Chicago which may go over much smoother if Meryl would stop asking so many questions about life back in New York.

Beautifully captured by cinematographer Florian Ballhaus who lensed the sixth season of Sex and the City, the film which transferred flawlessly to Sony Blu-ray contains the BD-Live extra features of movieIQ along with numerous featurettes, commentary, outtakes, and deleted scenes.

Although as Sam Elliott tells the newcomers when shopping at the movie's Costco-like Bargain Barn that “it's all about bulk,” Lawrence's clever premise may have been better served with a few more close calls or better thrills than bears since it's stretched quite thin for its 103 minute running time.

Despite the fact that his own, actor Hugh Grant has been able to adorably stammer his way out of anything and Parker's acerbic wit melds nicely with his, we do have a bit of trouble buying their relationship completely.

Nonetheless overall, it's a nice time-waster that tries its best to shake-up the old-as-Philadelphia-Story comedy of remarriage and for the most part succeeds more than your traditional “Did You Hear You're My Pretend Boyfriend?” movies that arrive week in and week out at the theatre.

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FTC Disclosure:
Per standard professional practice, I received a review copy of this title in order to evaluate it for my readers, which had no impact whatsoever on whether or not it received a favorable or unfavorable critique.