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‘The Morgans’ Isn’t About Much

There's just no reason to go see the slight and forgettable romantic comedy "Did You Hear About the Morgans?" Oh, there are a few amusing moments - mostly credited to star Hugh Grant's quips - but the movie by rom-com veteran Marc Lawrence never quite rises above the routine.

The whole project feels like it is destined to gather dust on video store shelves next to such other disposable fare as "12 Dresses" and "P.S. I Love You." Worse, Grant never really connects with costar Sarah Jessica Parker.

Compare Grant's sparkling chemistry with Sandra Bullock in "Two Weeks Notice" or Drew Barrymore in "Music and Lyrics" - both films were also directed by Lawrence, by the way - and you'll see an immediate difference. Perhaps it's not Parker's fault, but her character comes off as annoying. You never quite buy that Grant is madly in love with the woman.

Grant plays Paul Morgan, a rich New York City lawyer married to successful real estate broker Meryl. As the movie opens, Paul and Meryl's marriage is on the rocks because of the lawyer's infidelity. As the two are walking home from a strained dinner to work out their relationship problems, they witness a murder. Turns out the killer is a high-priced hit man that law enforcement has been hunting for years. The Morgans are immediately put into witness protection and whisked off to Wyoming for their safety.

If you're asking yourself why couldn't the feds hide the Morgans somewhere in mammoth New York City - heck, they could have sent them to Queens or Staten Island and saved a whole lot of time and trouble - you are not the target audience for the film.

Once in Wyoming, the Morgans meet a whole slew of colorful characters who only show up in Hollywood movies. They all seemingly exist to either get cheap laughs about how provincial they are or give homespun advice to the Morgans. And then there's the slew of fish-out-of-water jokes that feel like they were ticked off a list from Hollywood scriptwriting for beginners.

Wildlife encounters? Check.

Cow milking jokes? Yep.

Wood-chopping gags? Affirmative.

At no point does Lawrence provide any surprises in "Did You Hear About the Morgans?" which marches to its inevitable conclusion without making much of an impression, never a good sign in a movie, even a romantic comedy that aims to be bubbly entertainment.

Our advice: If you're in the mood for a rom-com this weekend, rent Grant's "About a Boy," ''Two Weeks Notice" or "Music and Lyrics" - all are far better examples of the genre.

PG-13 for some sexual references and momentary violence.

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