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Film / Did You Hear About the Morgans?

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Did You Hear About the Morgans? is a 2009 Romantic Comedy written and directed by Marc Lawrence, starring Hugh Grant and Sarah Jessica Parker.

Paul (Grant) and Meryl (Parker) are a yuppie couple from New York City going through a separation when they witness a brutal murder. When the murderer actually comes after them, the government secretly whisks them off to a ranch owned by a marshal (Sam Elliott) and his wife (Mary Steenburgen) near the tiny town of Ray, Wyoming. While they are there, Paul and Meryl begin rebonding with each other, while the killer uses every method in the book to hunt them down.

Did You Hear About the Tropes?:

  • Babies Ever After: Meryl and Paul have attempted this before, and they've been unsuccessful, kicking off the rift in their marriage. In the epilogue, they not only go through with adopting an infant daughter, but Meryl is already pregnant with a new baby.
  • Bears Are Bad News: Paul certainly thinks so, developing a severe (although fairly rational) fear of the beast as soon as he sees a warning poster about them, and stocks up on anti-bear spray at the first opportunity. It does not help him.
  • Brainless Beauty: Kelly, the local clinic's nurse and receptionist (as well as the diner waitress and assistant fire chief), is a pretty young woman who can't count to six and spends a painfully long time describing an Pun.
  • Brutal Honesty: Clay has an abundance of this. Reconstructed when he brusquely gets to the heart of the issue and tells Paul and Meryl to just make it work.
  • California Doubling: Ray, Wyoming, is actually Roy, New Mexico.
  • Close-Knit Community: Everyone in Ray leaves their keys in their cars in case anyone ever needs to borrow one.
  • Dumb Blonde: Despite being a nurse, Kelly gets confused about what number comes after five.
  • Good Adultery, Bad Adultery: Discussed. Overall Paul comes across as a good adulterer. It happened once and he regrets it but Meryl is still treated fairly for being angry that he would cheat on her at all. Meryl is pretty much the same as she slept with someone else while they were already separated but Paul interprets it as her trying to get back at him.
  • Happily Married: Clay and Emma. Emma mentions that they have had their struggles in the past but thinks that's normal for a couple who's been married as long as they have. Paul and Meryl by the end.
  • I'm Thinking It Over!: Meryl invokes this trope:
    Cop: Would you rather die in New York or live somewhere else?
    Meryl: I'm thinking.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Clay manages to knock the killer unconscious with a thrown horseshoe.
  • Meaningful Name: Paul and Meryl are inspired to name their newly adopted infant daughter "Rae", after the town (Ray, Wyoming) that saved their marriage.
  • Nice to the Waiter: The Morgans are polite, patient, and concerned with the people around them. Notably, Meryl says hi to her estranged husband's assistant Adam and says that the Marshall guarding her New York apartment has been on duty for a long time and could use a break. While in Wyoming, they are quick to lend their professional services to help the local doctor sell his mother's house, and Earl prepare his will.
  • Obnoxious In-Laws: The Morgans reflect that during their wedding, Paul's mother yelled "He doesn't!" During the "I do's."
  • Pair the Spares: Paul and Meryl's assistants end up together.
  • Raised by Grandparents: Diner owner Earl Granger takes care of his granddaughter because her father is in poor health and her mother is in the army.
  • Shoot Out the Lock: The killer does this to the lock and the deadbolt on Meryl's door without any damage to the doorframe or the deadbolt itself.
  • "Shut Up" Kiss: Paul's assistant does this to Meryl's assistant when she tries to contact the Morgans in violation of the witness protection. She tazes him in response. Although she's really sorry about it because she reacted on instinct thanks to her self-defense training.
  • Sweet and Sour Grapes: The epilogue shows that after so many failed attempts to have children, Meryl and Paul graciously and lovingly adopt a baby girl. However, it turns out that during their time in Ray Wyoming, they conceived a child all the same. Either way, they're finally going to have the family they both wanted so badly.
  • Symbolism: In-Universe. Since he can't adopt a star as an apology gift, Paul's assistant offers that Paul could adopt a black hole for Meryl. Given how failure to start a family started their marriage problems, Paul is more than aware that a black hole might send the wrong message.
  • Witness Protection: Drives the plot of the film.