Romantic comedies often get a mauling by the critics and Did Your Hear About the Morgans? has, so far, been no exception.
But, despite the “odd couple” casting of bumbling, quintessential Englishman Hugh Grant and New York style queen Sarah Jessica Parker, this bit of cinematic fluff kind of works.
The duo play high-flying husband and wife Paul and Meryl Morgan who are on the verge of divorce after lawyer Paul’s infidelity. On the night when Paul takes estate agent Meryl out for dinner in an attempt to win her back the couple witness a murder and find themselves in the sights of a contract killer.
With their lives on the line the separated couple agree to go into the witness protection programme – together – ending up in a sleepy hicksville-style Wyoming town where shooting, bingo and rodeo are considered to be the height of entertainment.
Away from the trappings of wealth, the Morgans find themselves having to put aside their differences to try to adjust to their new surroundings.
Grant’s self-effacing screen persona is used to full effect here as he tries to be polite to rednecks and attempts to pacify an angry bear with blustery small talk.
Okay this movie’s not going to win any Oscars, despite the best efforts of writer/director Marc Lawrence (Miss Congeniality, Music and Lyrics), but there are some genuinely funny moments and the relationship between the two leads does warm up enough to be believable.
Parker, a talented comic actress, proves she can do ballsy too as she shows off her new-found sharp-shooting skills which turn out to be pretty useful when the bad guy finally catches up with them.
Sam Elliott and Mary Steenburgen provide some additional humour and much-needed marriage guidance as the cops who are charged with keeping the Morgans safe.
Did You Hear About the Morgans? is neither Parker nor Grant’s best work but rom-com fans should find enough to keep them satisifed.