Did You Hear About the Morgans?: When a Stereotype Meets a Stereotype
Much like amnesia and quicksand and Mickey Rooney (that spherical scamp!), there's not enough witness-protection-program-based comedy in the movies nowadays. Also, I could use more romantical shenanigans in which bickering couples get dumped into some implausible, confined wackiness (like a quicksand pit; or the secret island where Mickey Rooney, dark tinker of Old Hollywood, performs his humanimal experiments) and then discover, through the healing power of running-for-your-life-from-a-half-wolf, that what they loved all along wasn't their high-powered careers or that skank from the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf—it was EACH OTHER.
And guess what!? Dreams do come true (and nightmares—on Rooney's Isle)! Did You Hear About the Morgans? has the best, most stupid premise for a movie ever. Paul (Hugh Grant, older, better) and Meryl (Sarah Jessica Parker, older, bobble- horsier) are separated. He's in the doghouse for something frightfully caddish, I'm afraid, and she's a very fancy real-estate broker, and both of them live in New York, which is a big city somewhere east of here. They go out to a bickery dinner, and you're pretty sure it's going to be just another rom-com about learning to trust one another again. But then—THEN!—out of nowhere they witness a murder, and the killer totally eyeballs their faces and comes after them, and BAM! WITNESS PROTECTION PROGRAM.
Meryl and Paul are from the big city, you see—"I'm a New Yorker," screams Meryl. "I've had bagels in other parts of the country. I don't even like Connecticut!" But does the witness protection program send them to another big city where they might be able to receive an adequate bagel from a Jew? NOPE TO THE MAX. The pair is whisked off to Ray, Wyoming, where everyone wears two cowboy hats and shops for guns at the Bargain Barn and there are bears in the yard and "Round here everybody leaves their keys in case someone needs a ride!" And do you know what happens when stereotypes of Real America and stereotypes of Fake America collide? Mild entertainment, that's what!
Did You Hear About the Morgans? is totally stupid, but I enjoyed it anyway, which has a lot to do with the presence of Sam Elliott. Paul and Meryl suck real bad—one might retitle the film Ungrateful Bitchez in Paradise—always talking to the bumpkins like they're special-needs chimps and making snide comments about their delicious country breakfasts and being amazed by the existence of stars and yelling stuff like "Oh God, I can't breathe! The air's too clean!" Whatever, dudes. Just be glad you're in beautiful Wyoming and not on the slab down in Rooney's bunker having cat fangs grafted onto your ungrateful big-city gums. Ungrateful bitchez. (I love you.)