Maybe I'm just in an unreasonably happy holiday mood, or maybe my expectations had been lowered by the generally pisspoor reviews, but I rather enjoyed DID YOU HEAR ABOUT THE MORGANS? It's the latest romantic comedy from writer-director Marc Lawrence, the man behind the phenomenally successful MISS CONGENIALITY and 2007's rather charming MUSIC AND LYRICS, also starring Hugh Grant. In DID YOU HEAR ABOUT THE MORGANS? Hugh Grant and Sarah Jessica Parker play two successful New Yorkers on the verge of divorce but forced into the witness protection programme together.
This is a rather ludicrous premise on which to hang a relationship drama, but perfectly in step with typically farcial rom-com set-ups (see THE PROPOSAL or FAILURE TO LAUNCH). And, as you can imagine, there are plenty of set pieces where the effete liberal New Yorkers come up against the cruder delights of country living. Naturally, there is a third act crisis which prompts a happy ending. There's plenty to object to here. The laziness of the derivative plot, for one. The reductive politics in which city dwellers are cynical ne'er-do-wells and country dwellers are the keepers of Real American Values, is another.
But hidden underneath all these lazy genre tropes is a rather engaging romantic drama in which two mature people talk through issues from real life - the way in which difficulty conceiving can put a relationship under pressure. I found myself actually routing for Sarah Jessica Parker and Hugh Grant. Moreover, many of Hugh Grant's lines are genuinely witty.
So, whatever the rest of the reviewers say, I had a good time with this film. Underneath all that predictable attempted screw-ball slapstick lies a rather sweet relationship drama.
DID YOU HEAR ABOUT THE MORGANS? is on release in the US, UK, Australia, France and Thailand. It opens next weekend in Argentina, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Portugal, Singapore, Switzerland, Austria, Spain and Sweden. It opens on January 20th in Egypt; on January 27th in Belgium, South Korea and Norway. It opens on February 5th in Brazil, Estonia and Finland; on February 11th in the Netherlands, Slovenia and Venezuela; on February 18th in Russia; on February 26th in Italy and Romania. It opens on March 5th in Poland and on March 12th in Japan.