In New York City, Paul and Meryl Morgan (Hugh Grant and Sarah Jessica Parker), an estranged couple who witness a murder are relocated to small-town Wyoming as part of a witness-protection program. Sheriff Clay Wheeler (Sam Elliott) and his wife Emma (Mary Steenburgen), are charged with protecting them in a rural, alien location the Morgans, who are dealing with relationship issues, are used to. Written and directed by Marc Lawrence (Two Weeks Notice, Music and Lyrics).
Rating: 4 out of 10
This movie sets up nicely. The Morgans are a couple on the outs — the husband cheated, the wife is bitter and unhappy. They struggled to have children, grew apart, and had real issues that people could relate to. There were funny scenes and likable characters, particularly Steenburgen (who still looks as beautiful as ever) and Elliot.
But as the story unfolds, these two big-city dwellers simply look more foolish and lost in rural America than could possibly be. And while there are real dramatic moments where the characters seem real, they are forced into moronic scenes where they realize their love by rescuing each other at a rodeo while dressed in a 2-person bull costume.
Romantic comedies are very hit and miss. They have to have a sweet side, but need an edge to make them fresh, like “Knocked Up,” which succeeded on numerous levels. This film had some of that, and some funny moments, but became very dopey in a hurry.