Did you hear about the new romantic comedy where that British dingleberry who cheated on Elizabeth Hurley plays a bloke who cheats on Sarah Jessica Parker and then they witness a murder and have to go into the witness protection program – in Wyoming!? No? Well, share in my misery, because now you have.
The new film from director Marc Lawrence, director of Two Weeks Notice and Music and Lyrics, strikes again with yet another instantly forgettable waste of time and/or money. Though the embarrassingly titled Did You Hear About the Morgans? never pretends to be breaking new cinematic ground (another over-hyped mediocrity springs to mind) it should at least set its standards higher when mining the archives for inspiration. Instead, writer/director (seriously?) Lawrence took the worst parts of the worst romantic comedies of the past ten years and came up with this:
“Hey, you know who I like? That guy from Nine Months, you know the effeminate British guy who uses his wry British wit to get himself out of a pickle. Oh, you say he looks like Carrot Top now, by which you mean an aging addict who’s trying to show the world he’s back on top by power lifting at the gym between a six pack of Sparks for breakfast, lunch, and dinner? Perfect! Oh, and I want that girl from Sweet Home Alabama, wait – maybe we should call the movie There’s No Place Like WyHOMEing! – never mind, no, not Reeses Witherspork, the witch from “Sex and the City.” What? She got rid of the mole? But the mole was her whole personality! Where’s her charm gonna come from now, my script? Forget it, there’s no time. Get me Road House’s Mr. Miyagi, um, uh . . . Sam Elliott! I don’t care if the Coen Brothers sue! You can’t own an actor’s character! You can? Then I’ll change it. Make his mustache bigger – and greyer!” Etc.
It’s almost hard to even talk about why this movie is so bad. It doesn’t even warrant that, it’s so middle-of-the-road that it’s neither loveable nor despicable. It leaves one utterly bored and indifferent to its existence. It’s an anti-movie. Before it even starts, you know what’s going to happen, blah blah, they fight, blah blah they make up. You know what the jokes are going to be before the punchline. And you know in the end everything will work out, so it’s all about the journey, the sucky boring journey. One pulse, half because Sam Elliott and Mary Steenburgen as a gun-loving mid-western couple is a good idea no matter how little they’re given to work with, and half a pulse for the soundtrack, which has some classics that don’t deserve the defamation of being associated with this movie.