Did You Hear About the Morgans?



Fish-out-of-water romcom is teen-friendly but a real snooze.
  • Review Date: December 9, 2009
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2009
  • Running Time: 96 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Paul and Meryl learn to appreciate what Wyoming has to offer -- open sky, a slower pace, and friendly, unjaded people -- even though they're die-hard, snotty New Yorkers. The importance of fidelity and loyalty in marriage is another obvious theme.

Positive role models

Emma and Clay are positive role models for a loving and lasting -- albeit imperfect -- marriage. Paul and Meryl are at first very annoying, sterotypical New Yorkers (especially Meryl), but they eventually prove that small towns have something to offer even the most cynical, overly chatty city folks.


Some gun violence, but nothing bloody. A man with a knife in his back plunges to his death, and a hit man tries to shoot a couple. The same hit man opens fire again in a crowded place. Most of the population of Ray, Wyo., is armed (legally, it's presumed) with guns, and a couple of scenes revolve around characters learning to shoot a rifle and then using it against the hit man. Comical violence includes the use of bear spray on a man -- twice.


Paul and Meryl kiss a few times and cuddle (in their pajamas) in bed together. They also discuss Paul's adultery on several occasions. Secondary couples dance, flirt, and kiss as well, but nothing too risque.


One "s--t" and "bulls--t" is the worst of it. Other mild insults/exclamations include "screw you," "hell, yeah," "idiot," "oh my God," and "stupid," as well as Britishisms like "bloody" and "bollocks."


Several brands are featured fairly prominently: BlackBerry, Google, Gillette, Carhartt, Edge, Advil, and Hunt's ketchup. Also lots of New York-specific places and publications, like the Times, New York magazine, Nobu restaurant, Zabar's, etc.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

An elderly man smokes cigarettes in his restaurant. Paul and Meryl have wine on their table at dinner.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this Hugh Grant/Sarah Jessica Parker romantic comedy is a classic fish-out-of-water tale that could appeal to romcom-loving teens, despite its bland story. There are a few kisses and references to sex, marriage, and infidelity. Strong language is surprisingly infrequent (one "s--t" and "bulls--t"), and most of the violence -- including minor gun violence (and gun use in general, in the parts that take place in Wyoming), as well as some comical scenes involving bear spray -- is concentrated briefly at the beginning and the end of the movie. Expect a fair bit of product placement/promotion, including BlackBerry, Gillette, and more.

What's the story?

In DID YOU HEAR ABOUT THE MORGANS?, Paul (Hugh Grant) and Meryl (Sarah Jessica Parker) Morgan are high-powered New Yorkers struggling with marital woes. After a rare dinner together, the pair sees a mob hit and is subsequently placed into witness protection in sleepy Ray, Wyoming. Unable to contact anyone at home, the Manhattan-centric Morgans must live with local sheriff Clay (Sam Elliot) and his wife, Emma (Mary Steenburgen) -- two gun-toting, Clint Eastwood-loving law enforcers who couldn't be less like the Morgans. Like all fish out of water, the Morgans grow fonder and fonder of the rodeo town and its quirky, down-home residents. If the Morgans can survive somewhere far, far away from their bagels, BlackBerrys, and problems, maybe their marriage will survive, too.

Is it any good?


At this point in their careers, Grant and Parker are romantic-comedy staples. Unfortunately, this stereotypical, overly predictable tale about neurotic, type-A Manhattanites stuck in sleepy Wyoming is simply soporific and annoying. Even at 96 minutes, the story stumbles along at an infuriating pace, and it doesn't help that the leads share absolutely no chemistry. (You have to wonder, in fact, whether Parker can muster up sparks with anyone other than Chris Noth.)

The lack of heat between two stars isn't even the worst of it. That would be the film's stilted jokes about "poor" rich New Yorkers who can't go to Lincoln Center or Zabar's or Nobu. Other than in Sex and the City, do audiences even care about how much wealthy Manhattan couples would miss the trappings of city life? When flannel-shirted Clay and Emma roll their eyes at the Morgans, they're channeling the audience. Steenburgen and Elliot meri the movie's one star -- it's always a pleasure to see the two character actors pop up in anything. And for the record, their scenes together are more romantic than anything Parker and Grant display.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the movie's gun violence and hunting jokes. Is the gun use in the movie meant to be comical? Is it?

  • How are both New Yorkers and people from Wyoming portrayed? Is the characters' depiction realistic or stereotypical?

  • Why do you think the fish-out-of-water genre is so popular? What's funny about seeing people out of theircomfort zone?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:December 18, 2009
DVD release date:March 16, 2010
Cast:Elisabeth Moss, Hugh Grant, Sarah Jessica Parker
Director:Marc Lawrence
Studio:Columbia Tristar
Run time:96 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:some sexual references and momentary violence

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  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
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  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 14 years old Written byJadenp March 7, 2011

very mild for a pg-13

suggested mpaa rating: PG for some brief sexual references, and a scene of violence.
Kid, 11 years old July 3, 2010


I saw it a week ago and I think it's good, I think the reviewers really got the "iffy, good, bad" wrong because I'm 11 and I didn't think it was bad.
What other families should know
Great messages
Adult Written bycrackerjack5 May 30, 2010

Talk about a waste of time!

This is the sad thing - I actually saw this movie like 3 weeks ago, and now I can't remember anything about it, not even the plot! That's how bad it was. My eyes burned all through it, and my ears almost bled. But at least I got to spend time with my mom, who watched it with me. The only good part of the whole movie.


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