With two lead actors that don’t make their presence known in many films nowadays, it’s no surprise that Did You Hear About the Morgans? was trumped up early in its release. Of course it ultimately didn’t matter as it was pummeled by unfavorable reviews and with quite a hefty budget for a romantic comedy, the domestic box office intake was relatively low (although it did make a nice profit with overseas tickets taken into account). As far as romantic comedies go, Did You Hear About the Morgans? was another entry in an otherwise flooded category that rarely manages to eke out anything memorable.
Hugh Grant and Sara Jessica Parker star in this delightful comedy about finding love in the most unexpected places. Two successful New Yorkers, Paul (Grant) and Meryl (Parker), are at their wits’ end with repairing their strained marriage. But when they become the only witnesses to a brutal murder, the police hide them away in Wyoming – together. Now these die-hard city dwellers will have to survive the weather, bears, fresh air, and forced time with one another if they want to make it out alive.
I’m admittedly not a huge fan of the romantic comedy genre, but I’ve been known to smile and laugh at some of them. In fact while it’s not my favorite genre I still manage to enjoy the films on a rudimentary level, even if they are all just basically the same premise under whatever “trick” that they’re currently wrapping the story up in. In Morgans? case, the hook is that they witness a murder and their strained relationship has to be repaired while they’re shoved into witness protection. Cute enough and the relocation from New York to Wyoming was a nice change of scenery too, but sadly while the premise was decent enough…I just really, really don’t like either of the leads in this film.
Parker I’ve always found to be a bit too pretentious in her acting (I don’t know if that’s even the proper way to describe it, but that’s all I can think of at the moment). And Grant…well, I just don’t like him. I haven’t ever liked him in anything he’s been in; it’s not so much I don’t like the man, as he seems amicable enough in interviews and whatnot, but his acting style is just…nerve-grating. I get why the two were paired, as they do make a decent on-screen couple, although despite their seeming compatibility in acting styles, the two really lack any kind of chemistry together. They play better as “best friends,” rather than a couple that was ever really in love with one another.
Then of course there is the films biggest downfall: it forgot the “comedy” part of its genre. Hell, it forgot the “romantic” part too, since there really isn’t much of any here, as both of them turn out to be cheaters in their marriage and it takes near-death to rekindle whatever small flame is still between the two. But it’s really just the complete lack of comedy in the film that irked me the most. Here I was, sitting in front of my TV trying my best to withstand the nails-on-the-chalk-board casting and instead of something at least mildly funny to work with I’m only given an irritating glimpse into how elitist well-educated New Yorker’s can be when placed into a rudimentary Wyoming scenario. I’m sure at some point they were supposed to “learn their lesson,” but instead it’s like trying to watch The Simple Life, but with far less humorous results (yes, I, in essence, just called that show humorous). It’s a shame too, since while the scenario of isolating the characters from their usual lives to help them connect with one another again isn’t a wildly new addition to the rom/com genre, but it isn’t as played out as others.
The supporting cast is entertaining at least, with Sam Elliot and Mary Steenburgen making a better on-screen couple than Parker and Grant, but nearly everything else is just really not worth watching at all. Director Marc Lawrence really just made a rather unbearable film that is largely devoid of humor or any redeemable characters, which is a real shame considering he and the two main stars were on-tap for a commentary on this Blu-ray release. Which is a real shame cause then I had to watch the film a second time. Skip It.
Sony releases Did You Hear About the Morgans? on Blu-ray in a standard Elite case. Nothing special about the exterior or interior of the case—just the disc and the usual cover art. There’s a shiny reflective foil sticker on the front advertising BD-Live content, but other than that…nada. Menus are simple and easy to navigate.
Surprisingly enough for a fairly new film this AVC encoded transfer is incredibly…soft. Detail does come through occasionally, but there are more than a few signs that this was run through some kind of DNR process, which is rather surprising. I guess the source elements just weren’t that good or something, I don’t know. It isn’t a total loss, of course, as it is still a modern film on Blu-ray so the colors really do pop off quite a bit, especially once we get into Wyoming scenery. Clothing, scenery…it all looks pretty solid, but it’s definitely not a flawless transfer. We’re also given a DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix but aside from the random spurts of action in the film that sent them into witness protection in the first place, the track is predominantly front and center, with very little in the surrounds or LFE range.
A Bear of a Scene
Commentary with Director Marc Lawrence and Stars Hugh Grant & Sarah Jessica Parker
Location, Location, Location!
Cowboys and Cosmopolitans: The Stars of Did You Hear About the Morgans
Park Avenue Meets the Prairie: The Fashions of Did You Hear About the Morgans
movieIQ and BD-Live connects you to access real-time information on the cast, music, trivia and more while watching the movie!
All total the featuretess, deleted scenes, et.al take up over an hour…which is as surprising as it is dull. Admittedly the extras are a great deal more entertaining than the film itself, especially the commentary as Grant is as charismatic and funny on here as he is in the interviews he’s often involved in on talk shows. It’s not a terrible track and I actually enjoyed watching the film a bit more with it on than I did without…although there were moments of boredom and silence, both from me and from the track.
Overall Did You Hear About the Morgans? is really just something you can easily Skip without worry.
Did You Hear About the Morgans? arrives on Blu-ray and DVD on March 16th.