Did You Hear About the Morgans

  • Directors: Marc Lawrence
  • Producers: Martin Shafer, Liz Glotzer
  • Writers: Marc Lawrence
  • Genres: Comedy, Romance
  • Actors: Hugh Grant, Sarah Jessica Parker, Sam Elliott, Mary Steenburgen, Elisabeth Moss, Michael Kelly, Wilford Brimley, Jesse Liebman

Did You Hear About the Morgans? follows a highly successful Manhattan couple, Meryl and Paul Morgan (Sarah Jessica Parker and Hugh Grant), whose almost-perfect lives have only one notable failure – their dissolving marriage. But the turmoil of their romantic lives is nothing compared to what they are about to experience: they witness a murder and become targets of a contract killer. The Feds, protecting their witnesses, whisk away the Morgans from their beloved New York to a tiny town in Wyoming, and a relationship that was on the rocks threatens to end completely in the Rockies … unless, in their new BlackBerry-free lives, the Morgans can slow down the pace and rekindle the passion. Once in Ray, Wyoming, the Morgan’s are introduced to the Wheelers, who will be protecting them secretly under the names of Meryl and Paul Foster, who are visiting their cousins, the Wheelers. While adjusting to Ray, Paul tries rekindling their marriage. Meanwhile, in New York, the killer is still after them and has found a way to know where they are through Meryl’s assistant. When Paul hurts his shoulder shooting cans for fun, he is taken to the only doctor in town, whose number the murderer achieves and plans to go down to Wyoming. Meryl makes a phone call to alert an adoption agent she won’t be needing her services, greatly endangering both her and Paul when she calls herself Meryl Morgan over the phone. Still trying to help the romance, Paul takes Meryl on a date. Afterwards, they get lost on the way home, and share a kiss after remembering their wedding day with Meryl repeating you may kiss the bride as a hint. With everything in order, Meryl begins to question whether she should or should not tell Paul she had an infidelity during their separation. Asking the Wheelers for help, they say she should be truthful but gentle. When she is, Paul becomes standoffish. The next day, with the killer in town, the Morgans anticipate leaving Ray for a new, bigger city. The Wheelers invite them to a rodeo, which the Morgans decline due to their budding argument. Leaving the Morgans without any form of security, the killer breaks in, but not before the Morgans are able to sneak out. Going to the Rodeo, they hide in a bull suit and accidentally frighten a live bull into head-butting them. Meryl, unable to walk, stays hidden from the killer while Paul, realizing he has no time to get the Wheelers, takes matters into his own hands. Accidentally spraying himself with pepper spray instead of the killer, he is about to be shot when Mrs. Wheeler approaches with a gun. Soon after, Mr. Wheeler does the same, and friends the Morgans have made gather around proclaiming themselves witnesses. Mr. Wheeler hits the murderer over the head with a horseshoe, knocking him unconscienous and thus leaving police to arrest him. Meryl and Paul realize that when they almost thought one another would die, they had no worse feeling in their lives, and make up for good. Six months later, they come home from China with a baby girl they have adopted. Moving into their new apartment, they decide to name the baby Rae. Admiring the view from their balcony, the happy new family admires that Meryl is pregnant with a biological child as well, with Paul remarking, Wouldn’t if be funny if this one was Chinese too?

Love Actually

  • Directors: Richard Curtis
  • Producers: Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Duncan Kenworthy
  • Writers: Richard Curtis
  • Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance
  • Actors: Alan Rickman, Bill Nighy, Colin Firth, Emma Thompson, Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, Keira Knightley, Rowan Atkinson, Laura Linney, Martine McCutcheon

The film begins with a voiceover from David (Hugh Grant) commenting that whenever he gets gloomy with the state of the world he thinks about the arrivals terminal at Heathrow Airport, and the pure uncomplicated love felt as friends and families welcome their arriving loved ones. David’s voiceover also relates that all the known messages left by the people who died on the 9/11 planes were messages of love and not hate. The film then tells the ‘love stories’ of many people, culminating in a final scene at the airport enacted to the tune of The Beach Boys’ “God Only Knows” that closes their stories. The film ends with a montage of anonymous persons greeting their arriving loved ones that slowly enlarges and fills the screen, eventually forming the shape of a heart.

With the help of his longtime manager Joe (Gregor Fisher), aging rock and roll legend Billy Mack (Bill Nighy) records a Christmas variation of The Troggs’ classic hit “Love Is All Around.” Despite his honest admission that it is a “festering turd of a record,” the singer promotes the release in the hope it will become the Christmas number one single. During his publicity tour, Billy repeatedly causes Joe grief by pulling stunts such as defacing a poster of rival musicians Blue with a speech bubble reading, “We’ve got little pricks.” He also promises to perform his song naked on television should it hit the top spot. Mack keeps his word—albeit while wearing boots and holding a strategically placed guitar. After briefly celebrating his victory at a party hosted by Sir Elton John, Billy unexpectedly arrives at Joe’s flat and explains that Christmas is a time to be with the people you love, and that he had just realized that “the people I love… is you”, despite simultaneously hitting Joe with insulting comments about his weight. He reminds Joe that “We have had a wonderful ride” touring around the world together over the years. He suggests that the two celebrate Christmas by getting drunk and watching porn. Billy and Joe’s story is the only one exploring platonic love, and the two characters are unrelated to any of the other characters in film, although a few of the other characters are shown watching Billy Mack on their TVs or listening to his song on the radio.

Rufus is a minor but significant character played by Rowan Atkinson. He is the Selfridges jewellery salesman whose obsessive attention to gift-wrapping nearly gets Harry caught buying Mia’s necklace, and later at the airport, his distraction of an attendant allows Sam to sneak through security and see Joanna before she goes back to America. In the original script, the character was revealed to be an angel, and the airport scene showed him disappearing as he walked through the crowd, but this aspect of the character was removed, although he does give Daniel a wink indicating he knows he is giving Sam cover to slip through. Richard Curtis says that with all the storylines already complicating the movie, “the idea of introducing another layer of supernatural beings” seemed over-the-top.[1]

Music and Lyrics

  • Directors: Marc Lawrence
  • Producers: Liz Glotzer, Martin Shafer
  • Writers: Marc Lawrence
  • Genres: Comedy, Music, Romance
  • Actors: Hugh Grant, Drew Barrymore

Alex Fletcher (Hugh Grant) enjoyed considerable fame and success in the 1980s and early 1990s as one of the founding members of the band PoP! – however, after they disbanded, his partner Colin Thompson became a popular solo act, while Alex’s own career nosedived. In recent years he has supported himself by reprising his old hits for middle-aged female fans at high school reunions, county fairs, and amusement parks, but even these minor opportunities are slowly drying up. Alex is given a chance at a comeback when teenaged pop diva Cora Corman (Haley Bennett) commissions him to write a song called “Way Back Into Love” for her new CD which is on the verge of completion, leaving him only days to fulfill her request. However, Alex’s forté is composing music; he always relied on Colin to supply the words, thus complicating matters.

During an unsuccessful attempt at a collaboration, Alex discovers that Sophie Fisher (Drew Barrymore), who waters his plants, has something of a gift for writing song lyrics. Sophie, a former creative writing student reeling from a disastrous romance with her former English professor, Sloan Cates (Scott), who has written a novel based on their relationship that cruelly depicts her as a talentless mimic, has little confidence in her talent and initially refuses, but Alex manages to cajole her into helping him by using a few quickly-chosen phrases she has given him as the basis for a song. Over the next days, Sophie and Alex continue to write “Way Back Into Love”, gradually growing closer, much to the delight of Sophie’s older sister Rhonda (Kristen Johnston), a fan of Alex’s from his PoP! days.

Sophie, intending to start a new life in Florida, reluctantly attends the opening of Cora’s new tour at Madison Square Garden, at which Alex and Cora will debut “Way Back Into Love”. Upon hearing that Alex is singing a new song “written by Alex Fletcher”, Sophie is upset to believe that Alex is stealing credit for her work; however, the song Alex sings is a self-penned plea for Sophie to give their relationship another chance. Touched, Sophie finds Alex backstage, and he confesses he convinced Cora to drop the risqué version of “Way Back into Love” in an attempt to win Sophie back. He and Cora perform the tune as he and Sophie intended it to be sung, and the two songwriters embrace in the wings. The end of the movie reveals that they go on to become successful partners, both in songwriting and romance.

Two Weeks Notice

  • Directors: Marc Lawrence
  • Producers: Sandra Bullock
  • Writers: Marc Lawrence
  • Genres: Comedy, Romance
  • Actors: Sandra Bullock, Hugh Grant

Lucy Kelson (Sandra Bullock) is an environmental lawyer in New York City. George Wade (Hugh Grant) is an immature billionaire real estate tycoon who has almost everything and knows almost nothing. Lucy’s hard work and devotion to others contrasts sharply with George’s world weary recklessness and greed.

Lucy meets George in an attempt to stop the destruction of the Coney Island community center from her childhood. He attempts to hire her to replace his old Chief Counsel, Amber. She knows of his playboy tendencies, but he promises to protect the community center if she works for him.

She soon finds that what he really requires is advice in all aspects of his life. She becomes his indispensable aide, and he calls her for every little thing. She finally gets fed up with the situation and gives him her two weeks’ notice of resignation. He is deeply troubled by this and tries to convince her to stay. He also tries to block her from getting any other jobs, as an attempt to make her stay. He finally gave in and has her train her replacement, the attractive and flirtatious June Carver (Alicia Witt), before she quits. Lucy gets jealous of June before she leaves.

After she’s gone, George realizes that his time with her has really changed him, as he keeps the promise he made to her in the beginning even if it means it costs his company millions. Meanwhile, in her new job, she’s missing him terribly. He goes in search for her and they confess their feelings for each other.

Notting Hill

  • Directors: Roger Michell
  • Producers: Duncan Kenworthy
  • Writers: Richard Curtis
  • Genres: Comedy, Romance
  • Actors: Julia Roberts, Hugh Grant, Hugh Bonneville, Emma Chambers, James Dreyfus, Rhys Ifans, Tim McInnerny, Gina McKee

William Thacker (Hugh Grant) is the owner of an independent bookstore in Notting Hill that specializes in travel writing. Witty and handsome, he has not been coping well with his divorce (his wife left him “for a man who looks exactly like Harrison Ford”) and is currently sharing his house with an eccentric Welsh wannabe artist named Spike (Rhys Ifans). One day, Thacker encounters world-famous Hollywood actress Anna Scott (Julia Roberts) during her trip to London, when she enters his shop to purchase a book. Shortly thereafter, the pair accidentally collide in the street, causing William to spill his orange juice on the both of them. He offers his house, which is just across the road, as a place for Anna to get changed. She accepts and they retire to his abode. Having changed, Anna surprises William with a kiss and plants the seeds for their mutual attraction.

Days later, William asks Spike if he has any messages. Spike has trouble writing down or remembering any messages left for Will, but does recall “Some American girl called Anna” calling a few days previous. Anna is staying at the Ritz, under a pseudonym, and asks William to come and visit her. When he arrives, Anna’s room has become the centre for a press day and as a result, William is mistaken for a member of the press. In a moment of panic he claims he works for Horse & Hound magazine. He has to interview every single cast member of Anna’s new film Helix, even though he has not seen the film himself. William does get to talk to Anna, and invites her to his sister Honey’s birthday party.

One year later, Anna returns to England to make a Henry James film, which William had suggested she do. William approaches the set of the film, and Anna invites him in to watch. He listens to the sound recording whilst Anna is between filming scenes and overhears her telling her co-star that William is “just some guy”. Disappointed, William leaves. The next day, Anna comes to the bookshop once again, hoping to resume their love affair, but William turns her down. Before she leaves, Anna says the famous line: “I’m also just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her”; but William stays firm to his decision. Afterwards, William consults his friends on his decision, leading him to realize that he has just made the biggest mistake of his life. He and his friends search for Anna, racing across London in Max’s car. They reach Anna’s press conference before she leaves for the United States, and William successfully persuades her to stay in England with him. Anna and William get married, with the film concluding with a shot of William and a pregnant Anna sitting on a park bench in Notting Hill.