Did You Hear About The Morgans? - Online Review

'comes close to being xenophobic. The director creates insultingly general archetypes of characters he can comfortably label 'hicks''

In Did You Hear About The Morgans?, Sarah Jessica Parker plays a consumerist, work-obsessed, high-flyer in New York who people write magazine articles about, whilst Hugh Grant plays a foppish Englishman who is hopeless at love and appears unable to pass five minutes or so without becoming embroiled in one unfortunate jape or another. The only surprise here is that these roles appear to be a major stretch for both actors.

'SJP' is wooden, emotionless and unlikable. Grant is unconvincing, slow and seemingly in permanent possession of that annoying grin/scowl which looks like someone is holding up the corners of his mouth with fishing line whilst someone else tugs his chin as far down as it will go. Their chemistry is flat and lifeless, the only thing more unbelievable than the fact they ever had a relationship being the fact that director Marc Lawrence appears convinced that they should become involved in another one. He's the only one who holds such a thought.

Lawrence's self-penned plot revolves around the one-note joke of taking Grant and Parker out of their favoured New York and putting them somewhere (you get the impression Lawrence doesn't really care where) in the American countryside. It comes close to being xenophobic. The director creates insultingly general archetypes of characters he can comfortably label 'hicks' and 'hillbillies'. When he marvels at the fact that people can leave their keys in their cars around here it isn't out of admiration but our of near-disgust at such a backwards-looking land. Of course, his characters are heading towards a moral epiphany that seeks to redeem their prejudgements but lines like Parker's, where she claims she would rather 'die in New York than live round here', feel too raw to ever be plastered over.

The lovely duo of Sam Elliott and Mary Steenburgen give it their best but this is woeful and even the odd solid laugh can't cover over the feeling of hopeless genre retreading and the distasteful pang of laughter directed uncomfortably at the rural states. Depressingly bleak and a prime example of why the Romantic Comedy is currently in the doldrums.

Did You Hear About The Morgans? is currently available on Sky Anytime and Sky Go for users with appropriate subscriptions.

Look further...

'amiable and good natured. There are plenty of ostensible comedies that are neither' - The Guardian, 3/5


  1. I saw this on TV and man, it was just bloody awful. I feel sorry for Sam Elliot and Mary Steenburgen as they were the only people in the film that actually tried to give decent performances. If the film had been about them, it would've been more interesting.

    It's a film that makes me want to hate Sarah Jessica Parker even more after the debacle that was the second Sex & the City film. That was offensively-bad.

  2. I just don't think I've ever seen her truly 'act'. She plays the same character (who isn't particularly interesting, or very likeable) in everything I've seen. If she was to actually take on something interesting (a horror, say) then I would absolutely be first in the queue.