Saturday 26 Jul

Escape from Tomorrow

With Escape from Tomorrow, one fears the story behind the movie would loom larger than the movie itself. Luckily, that is not the case. After all, it opens with a decapitation on Disney World’s Big Thunder Mountain Railroad roller coaster.
05/06/2014 | Comments 0


William Friedkin spends a lot of time in his 2013 memoir discussing why Sorcerer didn't click with critics and audiences even though he believes it to be better than his previous film, The Exorcist. Now that Warner Home Video has reissued Sorcerer on Blu-ray, we can see what Friedkin's fuss is all about.
04/23/2014 | Comments 0

Broadchurch: The Complete First Season

Welcome to the coastal resort of Broadchurch, population … oh, who can keep track, what will all the corpses? Yes, Broadchurch is yet another British television procedural involving the search for a murderer in a quaint little town, just like the limited series The Fall and Top of the Lake.
04/23/2014 | Comments 0

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones

Essentially part five in the ridiculously profitable horror franchise, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones continues the found-footage conceit of the other films. The difference is instead of the scares taking place in rich white suburbia, they do so in a junky apartment complex on a largely Latino side of Oxnard, Calif.
04/23/2014 | Comments 0

Holy Ghost People

Holy Ghost People examines two sisters whose bond is torn — but by what? After her sibling has been missing for more than a year, Charlotte (Emma Greenwell, TV's Shameless) intends to find out.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0
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Did You Hear About the Morgans?

None January 7th, 2010

With a few minor variations, romantic comedies are, by and large, predictable and formulaic. The thing that saves the good ones is chemistry between the leading players and effective comic relief from the supporting cast.

"Did You Hear About the Morgans?" is not one of the good ones.

Paul (Hugh Grant, "Music and Lyrics") and Meryl (Sarah Jessica Parker, "Sex and the City") Morgan are two big-shot New Yorkers whose lives are ruled by their Blackberries. He is a high-end lawyer and she is a famous, top-tier, Manhattan real estate broker. The pair started out madly in love, but over the years, the flame slowly guttered and was finally snuffed when Paul had an affair. He is recalcitrant to the point of being a pest, buying Meryl any number of ridiculous gifts to placate her.

After an awkward dinner, the divided duo coincidentally witnesses one of Meryl's clients being murdered. The bad guy, who has an honest-to-God facial scar, sees them, and because Meryl is so famous, he tracks them down and tries to kill them.

The police ship Paul and Meryl to Wyoming, where they are put in the protective custody of Clay (Sam Elliott, "Up in the Air") and Emma (Mary Steenburgen, "The Proposal"). There is a certain amount of culture shock, but Meryl and Paul become acclimated to the wilderness as they become re-acclimated with each other.

Aside from the romantic part, "Did You Hear About the Morgans?" is also a very ham-handed, fish-out-of-water story. We're supposed to get big laughs watching Paul and Meryl visit a Bargain Barn, shoot guns, ride horses, eat meat, walk on dirt, engage with grizzly bears, visit a general practitioner, talk to a Republican (Wilford Brimley, for crying out loud), dance to country music, go to a rodeo, sleep in silence and play bingo. It's all just too wacky for words.

It's difficult to say whether it's the wooden acting and lack of spark from Grant and Parker or the fact that every character and situation in the movie is based on a stereotype that makes "Morgans" so groan-worthy. Paul and Meryl are painfully two-dimensional as the City Folks, with their aversion to anything un-Manhattan and their squeamishness over good old American country livin'.

And the Country Folks are just as bad. They eat nothing but meat, use animal heads as decoration, smoke, leave their keys in their cars, walk around wearing cowboy hats and carrying guns, and worship John Wayne. The only redneck stereotype missing is racism.

It should be no surprise that what we end up with is a series of broad, situational comedy-style episodes that are loosely tied together by the foregone conclusion that Meryl and Paul will fall back in love. Unfortunately, the situations are so unfunny that one comes to wish they would be mauled by a bear while Clay and Emma jump off a cliff.

To give you some idea, the only marginally funny line in the movie is "Her perfume smelled a bit like a burrito."

You've been warned."”Mike Robertson
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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