Did you hear about Did You Hear About The Morgans? Good. It’s like ten years old and, aside from Click (obviously) it was THE WORST FILM I’ve ever seen.
But the thing is, it’s so bad that it’s sociological. Like how did such a bad film get made, even in 2009?
It was so bad that it wasn’t even “so bad it was good”. It was just….. well, I’ll let star Hugh Grant sum it up.
Seriously, I can’t believe that a) I haven’t heard about how dodgy this movie was before now, b) the actors still command hefty salaries, c) anyone creatively involved in it is still allowed to make anything and d) Netflix presumably PAYS to host this content on their platform.
The story starts with ageing-neurotic-career-woman-I-LOVE-NEW-YORK-NOWHERE-ELSE-EXISTS-hideously-unprepared-for-the-world type (🚨🚨🚨) played by Carrie Bradshaw. Oops, I mean Sarah Jessica Parker. I think her name is… wait, Meryl? They called a lead role in a film Meryl? Uh, okay.
Yeah so, this red alert horrendous stereotype is “recently separated” because her husband, played by award winning 90s heartthrob Huge Grant, fucked someone else while she was going *crazy with injected hormones trying to have a baby*. If that’s not a metaphor for Hollywood’s treatment of women in their late 30s/early 40s, I don’t know what is.
The story itself goes like this: stalky Huge Grant is a big shot lawyer who can’t let go of his real estate wife “Meryl”, who, since their recent “separation” (I don’t think the words divorce or breakup are mentioned once) has found high level success by throwing herself into her real estate business.
Despite her alleged success, this powerful career woman a husk of a person, which they illustrate by turning her into a bumbling fuckwit at work because her long and unfulfilled desire to be a mother (see “essential motherhood paradigm”) is sending her gaga.
The story moves pretty quickly. Meryl and Whatshisname Huge Grant’s character get their busy busy assistants – one of whom was played by Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale’s Elisabeth Moss in what I hope for her sake was her worst performance ever – to coordinate their busy busy diaries so they can have a frustrating upper class dinner where Whatshisname is a pale imitation of every Huge Grant character ever, and “Meryl” acts like a cattier version of Carrie Bradshaw (presumably because her eggs are shrivelling, right?).
No fences are mended, but when he
aggressively pursues her down the street walks with her to a real estate meeting, they have the convenient misfortune of witnessing a dead body falling off the roof. The unbearably cliched Steve Jobs-esque baddie sees them and tries to shoot them, etc., etc., and then they have to go into witness protection. In- OH MY GOD WYOMING? WE’RE LEAVING THE CITY?! BUT I’M A NEW YORKER!!! BUT WHAT ABOUT MY HUGELY SUCCESSFUL LIFE!
In Wyoming, Meryl and Whatshisname are shocked by the huge
Costco Bargain Barn, where Carrie unironically marvels at how she can get two sweaterrrrs for $9.99. Then they get New Yorkily judgey about guns – oh my gahd can you believe this place? Then they stay in this little house with some patronising, gun-toting country folk (“it’s none of mah business y’all”) and after a day or two and an encounter with a bear they inexplicably fall in love again.
Meryl is so skittish and superficial as a character that with little forethought of outward justification, she jeopardises their lives by sneakily making contact with her adoption agent to put the baby plans on hold. Those hormones, eh. You’re in Witness Protection, silly! Ah, girls will be girls.
Her adoption agency lark eventually leads to
Offred her assistant doing something stupid, which then leads to Steve Jobs the baddie LITERALLY USING GOOGLE TO FIND THEM.
Other lowlights included:
- The pointless Daisy Duke-esque token dumb rural girl laughing at a bingo result of “B4” because it sounds like “before”. This was just part of the deeply ingrained misogyny of this film.
- The random singing kid character – presumably the daughter of close friend of the film’s producer or something* – getting a good deal of extraneous screentime and being labelled as the “next American Idol” for her fairly average singing.
- The pro-gun culture twist – everyone carrying guns might be scary at first, but it saves the day! Wow! Mind blown! (Not in a gun way, obviously.)
Look I’ve got a lot of questions. Like what the fuck was the point? Is this what passed as cultural production in 2009? Had the GFC not taught them anything yet? Were they not ashamed?
Carrie and Whatshisname are genuinely two of the dumbest characters I’ve ever seen (and that’s saying something). It was like someone had a decent concept for a deeper film (maybe?), but to get the appropriate budget they had to pull in some ageing 90s/00s icons and completely gut it.
OR perhaps it was written by a form of artificial intelligence that had only absorbed the details of one or two other films and the entire Sex and the City back catalogue.
OR- perhaps it was meant to be subversive in some way – you know, in a “so dumb it makes you think” kind of way. In which case, I’m not sure it worked. All it made me think of was getting some scouring balls and scrubbing my brain out.
Seriously has anyone else seen this? Did you hate it as much as I did? What are your theories? What the hell was going here?!
*I just looked it up, she is indeed the daughter of the writer and director of this film.