Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Did you hear about the Morgans?

I note that Hugh Grant’s latest romcom is called Did you hear about the Morgans? A vexing title, how does one enunciate it? I was reminded of James Lileks’s amusing struggles with the even more terribly-named 70s Jane Fonda flick, They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?

My first instinct would be a sort of jaunty "Did you hear about the Morgans?", as if preceded by an imaginary “I say!” when uttered by a cheery cove in tennis whites as he comes bounding into the drawing room with news about the second cousins. But then immediately overlapping that pronunciation in my brain is a much sneerier Alan Rickman-ish version, “Did you hear about the Morgans? Well, did you, Potter? Or are you as ignorant of the Morgans as you appear to be about everything else?”

One could stress the “you”, suggesting: everyone else is talking about these Morgans, why wasn’t I informed? Did YOU hear about the Morgans too, then? Are you all in this together? Why does nobody tell me anything? Am I just being paranoid? I think I might be having a nervous breakdown.

Heavy emphasis on “The Morgans” gives them a bit of a fanfare appearance, as in: “Ladies and gentlemen, drum roll please…did you hear about….THE MORGANS! The amazing family of juggling dwarfs, all the way from Texas!”

But since Sarah Jessica Parker is in the movie I can’t help but hear a breathless Sex in the City-style "Did you HEAR about the Morgans? Oh My God!" Or perhaps the sing-song tone that the impossibly-deep voiced movie trailer guy used to do for 80s comedies to indicate light-heartedness, as in “…starring Bill Murray…. Dan Ackroyd… and John Candy”, where “Bill Murray” is stated with confidence, the “Ack” of “Ackroyd” is said in a sort of surprised falsetto suggesting “Who is this crazy guy?”, and “and John Candy” is peppered with little chuckles: “a-ha-nd Jo-hu-hon Ca-ha-ndy”. Thus: "Did you [rising] hear … a-ha-bout the Morgans? [falling amid chuckles]"

I would like to see this movie packaged up in a double-bill with They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? There are potentially infinite nuances of meaning available to the ticket-buyer.

“Two adults please, for Did YOU hear about THE Morgans?/ THEY shoot HORSES… DON’T they?”


worm said...

I also had this problem with the title of the film

'To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar'

until I met the director Beeban Kidron and she explained to me that it was a message written on a photograph in a chinese restaurant. Which still seemed a poor explanation of why anyone would call a film something so rubbish. Of course I didn't tell her that, I merely chuckled appreciatively and offered her another vol-au-vent

Brit said...

Nice celeb moment, Worm.

How about "Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants"?

Or even worse somehow: "Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants 2"

malty said...

Not a movie but...'eyeless in Gaza', Huxy baby, not content with inventing a lamp goes and copies Milton. The BBC then produces a drama series, same name, same load of dingoes kidneys.

Or..'Can Hieronymus Merkin Ever Forget Mercy Humppe and Find True Happiness?', pah!, follow that one if you dare.

Susan said...

No I didn't hear about the Morgans because the soundtracks of modern films are run so damned fast - or is my hearing going?

Are they possibly related to Gwendoline, star of The Perils of Gwendoline in the Land of the Yik-Yak ... according to Wikipedia: a French action/sexploitation film released in 1984, directed by Just Jaeckin. Gwendoline (Tawny Kitaen), accompanied by a soldier of fortune, Willard (Brent Huff), and her French maid (Zabou), journeys deep into the jungle and desert to capture a butterfly that has eluded her late father's scientific quest. They eventually discover the lost underground realm of the Yik-Yak, an all-female society ruled by a queen who plans to kill Willard after he mates with a female gladiator champion.

Also, why doesn't someone switch off Hugh Grant's autocue .. better still, his autopilot?

David said...

I believe that, to this day, Perils of Gwendoline is the only movie I've ever walked out on.

David said...

Also, I see that I've reached that age by which I must start hedging statements about my own experiences, on the off-chance that I've forgotten storming out of some other movie.