Reviewed by: Laura Busch
Is formalized marriage becoming obsolete? Answer
Many people are convinced that traditional marriages don’t work and that this practice should be abandoned. What does the Bible say about marriage?
Divorce in the Bible
DIVORCE AND REMARRIAGE—Under what conditions may Christians divorce and remarry? Answer
|Featuring:||Sarah Jessica Parker, Hugh Grant, Mary Steenburgen, Sam Elliott, Elisabeth Moss, Kim Shaw, Michael Kelly, Seth Gilliam, Mario D'Leon, Audra Blaser, David Call, Beth Fowler, Chad Brummett, Peter Conboy, Hristo Hristov, Vincenzo Amato, Henry Herman, Rob Yang, Jesse Liebman, Gracie Lawrence, Steven Boyer, Chad DeGroot, Elwood L. Hoyt, Robert Feeley, [more]|
|Producer:||Columbia Pictures, Relativity Media, Castle Rock Entertainment, Banter, Relativity Media, Liz Glotzer, Anthony Katagas, Ryan Kavanaugh, Martin Shafer, Melissa Wells, Sara Woodhatch|
“We’re not in Manhattan anymore.”
“Did You Hear about the Morgans” provides a breath of fresh air to the often shallow and tasteless films that are so typical of the romantic comedy genre. Married couple, Paul and Meryl Morgan (Hugh Grant and Sarah Jessica Parker) are two successful Manhattan business people, who are estranged due to Paul’s infidelity. In an attempt to salvage their relationship, Paul takes Meryl out to dinner to discuss their problems but much to their surprise their evening ends more dramatically than they could ever have imagined, as they become the witnesses of a brutal murder. Paul and Meryl soon become the murderer’s number one targets and are forced to enter the witness protection program, which sends them packing for the small, rural town of Ray, Wyoming, where they are placed under the care of Sheriff Wheeler (Sam Elliot) and his wife, Deputy Wheeler (Mary Steenburgen). As Paul and Meryl are thrown together and forced to rough it in the small town of Ray, they begin to come to terms with their marital problems as they rediscover their love for one another.
Despite “Did You Hear about the Morgans” lack of critical success, there are many lessons in this film, which align themselves with a Christian worldview of marriage. We see Meryl and Paul learn the importance that open and honest communication plays in a healthy marriage. Unlike most Hollywood films, which reinforce the world’s negative view of this sacred institution, we see Paul and Meryl work through their problems, as they rediscover their love for one another, and ultimately choose not to resort to divorce. Important truths about communication, honesty, trust, and forgiveness in marriage are presented in a humorous manner and are enjoyable to watch. Paul and Meryl share their feelings with one another, regarding their sadness over their infertility and adoption and family are portrayed in a positive light.
The importance of good role models in marriage is also exemplified. Sheriff Wheeler and his wife Deputy Wheeler serve as an example of a happily married couple, who are committed to each other. The Wheelers offer the Morgans sound advise about communication and trust that must exist between husbands and wives. In one scene, Deputy Wheeler explains to Paul that marriage is hard-work and she and her husband almost called it quits several times, but they persevered and stayed by their partners’ side through the good and bad times, and she encourages the Morgans to do the same.
While “Did You Hear about the Morgans” commitment to upholding the institution of marriage should be lauded, especially in a mainstream film, it is not without some objectionable content. The profanities in this film are relatively few, however the words, sh** and bull**** are each used roughly one time, and the Lord’s name is profaned several times during the film. Paul and Meryl exchange several kisses throughout the film. In another scene Paul carries Meryl into the bedroom, he accidentally drops her and jokes, “that was foreplay.” They close the door (sex is implied) but nothing more is shown after the bedroom door is closed. Paul and Meryl’s discussion of their infertility and the stress and sadness associated with it may be a little too mature for younger audiences. Paul explains to Meryl that “having sex on a schedule” and other fertility treatments put a strain on their marriage and tore them apart.
There is a moderate amount of violence throughout the film, but much of it is comedic, including Paul accidentally spraying bear repellent into his eyes and other forms of similar comedic violence are present. Some viewers may find the image of a man with a knife in his back falling from a balcony disturbing, but this scene is brief and bloodless. In several scenes involving the murderer, people can be seen shooting at each other, but all of these scenes are virtually bloodless.
In the modern media, where we so often see marriage portrayed as an oppressive and passé institution, it was refreshing to watch a humorous and entertaining film that respected and revered marriage. “Did You Hear about the Morgans” was a lighthearted and enjoyable film and is one of the cleaner choices for teens and adults in theaters this Christmas season.
Violence: Heavy / Profanity: Moderate / Sex/Nudity: Moderate
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.