Movie Review: Did you Hear about the Morgans?
by Mark Potts
This column is an early review for a film yet to be released. The review is based on watching the trailer and filling in the details myself. While not all the details are accurate, I don’t care.
Oh, Hugh Grant. Your smooth British accent and calm, fumbling demeanor allow you to say and do anything and it comes off as funny and charming. I am serious. When my parents die, I hope it’s Hugh Grant who tells me.
Mr. Potts, uh, um … I’m afraid that your mummy and daddy,
Well … Oh, God, how do I say this? How to give this news?
I wish you and I were friends.
Well, I am afraid that … uh, me giving you this information
might make that wish die in a horrible fire crash…much like
Let’s get yogurt!
So, it’s with this in mind that I did in fact enjoy Did You Hear About the Morgans? But, it is definitely not without flaws.
The film follows Meryl and Paul Morgan (Sarah Jessica Parker and Hugh Grant) and their dreadful married life. On the verge of getting a divorce, they witness a murder, become targets, and are moved into the Witness Relocation Program to protect their lives.
If you think that’s hilarity and life lesson learning you’re smelling, then you’re correct! (If it’s the smell of rotting flesh, then you or someone in your vicinity is dead).
The source of the marital problems is familiar. Paul is gaining ground in the corporate world and having later nights in the office. Meryl is feeling like Paul doesn’t pay attention anymore and she is having issues with the fact that she is sometimes hot, but sometimes not. Parker plays this role well.
Upon getting news that Paul has been promoted and they will have to move to Hong Kong, Meryl loses it and wants out. Paul doesn’t understand why she is so upset, which sets Meryl off. Meryl’s mother was brutally murdered the year before and Hong Kong reminds her of that (the man who killed her mother was from Maine, where he worked for a company that shipped computer parts from India, which is a country in the same vicinity as China, which is home to Hong Kong).
Needless to say, Paul did not remember this story. But this does present the film’s biggest plot hole, which is NO ONE CAN DENY HUGH GRANT.
But they see a guy get killed and are forced to move to Wyoming. Yes, Wyoming. How crazy is that? That place is like the exact opposite to Manhattan. If Manhattan were an apple, then Wyoming is a pear (those fruits are in fact opposite according to studies performed by me).
In Wyoming, they encounter some zany locals who like to hunt (weird!) talk slowly (crazy!) don’t use cell phones (impossible!) and like the slow life.
Now this is where the film begins to drop off. I understand that the Morgans are living in unknown surroundings, but some of their actions are outright moronic. For example, they see that the couple they are living with have deer heads mounted on their walls. The Morgans decide to murder a local mailman and put his head on the wall. Needless to say, the couple does not like it.
Then there’s a scene where they learn to shoot guns. Meryl turns out to be quite the marksman, which upsets Paul. One day, Paul challenges Meryl to a shooting contest. At first, they shoot cans, but then they decide to shoot at the other local mailman. Paul shoots the mailman in the chest, and Meryl laughs. “You know, what I’ve learned in Wyoming is that you gotta finish them off!” Then she shoots the mailman in the back of the head. I just don’t understand what the screenwriters were thinking here. And where were the police to lock them up? That’s a glaring continuity error.
Needless to say, the town (and audience) is not happy. The Morgans have left the town void of mailmen. Mail begins to pile up at the local post office. People can’t get mail out and due to the town not having Internet connection, it is completely cut off from the outside world. Sides are drawn and a civil war is about to start. Mary Steenburgen, who plays Emma Wheeler, one of the people who let the Morgans live with them, disembowels herself in the city square in an effort to stop the ensuing battle. The Morgans see this, fall in love, and decide to make things right.
While I did not enjoy seeing a fifteen-minute disembowel scene, what comes afterward makes up for it and leaves the audience smiling. The Morgans decide to take over as the town mailmen, deliver all the mail, and restore order. Once done, they vow to stay together forever, in Wyoming, and deliver mail.
Overall, I thought the film did well telling the story of a couple falling out of love, then discovering what was most important: the mail system. However, I felt that it was a little heavy handed in pushing the pro-mail system agenda and some in the audience were not happy about this. Still, I recommend seeing it.
Mark Potts is a filmmaker, producer, and former Finalist in the Rooftop Comedy National College Funny Film Competition.