Did You Hear About The Morgans – Day Twenty Five – #40movies40days
This movie demonstrates conclusively that an actor’s persona is no replacement for actual character development in a script. Hugh Grant substitutes ticks, shrugs and halting bemused cordiality for interesting dialogue. Sarah Jessica Parker uses hair tossing and wounded narcissism in place of witty banter. Neither role or character is fully developed and it’s unclear why the couple should stay together emotionally. This movie is a perfect example of what not to do when writing a romantic comedy.
The story, thanks in large part to Wikipedia, is this–
A wealthy successful Manhattan couple, lawyer Paul Morgan (Hugh Grant) and real estate agent Meryl Morgan (Sarah Jessica Parker) separate because of Paul’s infidelity. (He cheated once while out-of-town during a rough patch in their marriage– she was a hormonal lunatic undergoing in vitro fertilization). They are separated but are thrust back together when they witness a murder together and become the targets of a contract killer, Vincent (Michael Kelly).
The couple is whisked away to Big Sky and Tiny Town Country through the witness protection program. After advice from the US Marshall couple they stay with, Paul asks Meryl go on a “date” in town. Her vegetarian regime is at odds with the local carnivore culture. They are booted out of the restaurant.
They begin to reconcile over bingo and jogging and more jogging. Paul is injured when Meryl accidentally douses him with bear spray. Then Paul is shocked to discover that Meryl also had an affair after they were separated. (She needed reassurance of a kind that only a one-night stand can deliver, apparently.)
The warring couple is scheduled to leave, separately, for individual permanent hiding places the following day. The killer tracks them down when Meryl, despite strict warnings not to call ANYONE, cancels her adoption plans (made without Paul’s knowledge). The US Marshall couple invite them to a farewell rodeo, but the Morgans are quarreling so they decline.
Leaving their charges without any form of security, the US Marshall couple leaves for the rodeo. The killer attacks the house, but the Morgans are able to flee on horseback. Heading to the rodeo, they hide in a bull suit and frighten a live bull into head-butting them. Meryl, unable to walk, stays hidden from the killer while Paul confronts the killer with a canister of bear repellant. He accidentally sprays himself in the face. The killer is felled by a horseshoe pitched to the head by the US Marshall.
Six months later, Paul and Meryl are still married and back in Manhattan, having just adopted a baby girl from China. They name the baby Rae (after the town where they reconciled). Meryl is also pregnant with their biological child.
There is no exchange of gifts (we don’t see why these two imperfect halves should come together to make a more perfect whole.) They don’t grow through their relationship with each other. He regains her “trust” by a misguided attempt to attack the killer with bear repellant. (Oh! You tried to rescue me!) It’s unclear how she regains his trust (after registering for an adoption he wasn’t ready for). They are rich. She is a narcissist. He is inept. Clearly a match made in… Manhattan?