Perhaps some caveats are in order here. I like Hugh Grant. I'll be the first (well, the second, but after Hugh himself) to admit that his range isn't great but, regardless, I like him and his upper class bumbling schtick. I like Sarah Jessica Parker. I must have seen every episode of Sex & The City at least three times, I thought she was great in LA Story, I think she's a great comic actress. I like Marc Lawrence's work. Two Weeks' Notice was a charmer, the sort of film I watched and thought "yep, there's the wife's Christmas present sorted"... and then happily watched it again with the wife over the Christmas in question. I thought Music & Lyrics was even better, and yep, it had a similar pleasing domestic effect.
So, with all of those positive feelings in place, it pains me to say the following: Never, and I mean NEVER, watch Did You Hear About The Morgans? It's a cynical exercise in exploiting past goodwill to extract hard earned cash from mainstream punters. There can be no other excuse for this appalling waste of celluloid. There is no way, surely, that Grant and SJP willingly signed up on the basis of the script? Steenburgen and Elliot I'll forgive for taking the money, phoning in a perfomance and running away: they've so often been the best thing in bad films, they deserve a payday. But do Grant and SJP need the money so badly they'll willingly put their names to a film that makes Driving Aphrodite look like Spinal Tap?
Let's just get this over with, because I've already spent more time on this than Lawrence did his script. The Morgans (Parker, Grant) are a hugely successful New York couple. He's a lawyer, she's a real estate agent of legendary proportions and life would be peachy if he hadn't shagged an associate. He's now doing everything he can to persuade her that it meant nothing, that he's been a fool, etc. After a vaguely conciliatory dinner, he walks her to her next appointment and witness a murder. With the hitman still at large, the FBI get the Morgans into the Witness Protection Programme and send them off to Wyoming to the charge of a smalltown sheriff and his wife (Elliot and Steenburgen). The smalltown couple then teach the big city folk a thing or two about making marriage work, even as the hitman is probably on his way to finish the job.
There's more but if Lawrence can't be arsed to write ONE decent gag, I fail to see why I should spend more time on reviewing his film. I'd like to offer constructive criticism but Lawrence has shortchanged everyone with this half-arsed, two bit, plot-by-numbers so I'm left wishing him, and all concerned, a slow, painful, boil-ridden, sphincter-paralysing death. Despite making two pleasant movies before, I sincerely hope this is the end of his career and his ability to breathe. I also hope that this is the death knell for Hugh Grant's bumbling and SJP's uptight New Yorker thing. Given the choice of listening to, say, Jedward Sing The Obscure B Sides of Bjork or watching this pile of utter, utter shite again, I say "bring on the Icelandic 'music'." Did You Hear About The Morgans? is released New Year's Day and I confidently predict it's already the worst film of 2010. And, very probably, the next decade.