A one-star rating seems harsh, but for the truly awful romanticn comedy ‘Did You Hear about the Morgans?’ it may even be a little generous.

The stars, rom-com veteran Hugh Grant and 'Sex and the City's Sarah Jessica Parker, plod their way through the proceedings with their usual idiosyncrasies. Parker is highly strung and neurotic, while Grant squeezes more mileage out of his affable Englishman shtick.

They play a hotshot married couple residing in New York - Grant is Paul Morgan, a lawyer, while Parker is Meryl, a high-end real estate broker. Their marriage becomes strained due to their failure to conceive, and things go from bad to worse after Paul's one night stand on a business trip.

Paul has been trying to woo his estranged wife back with little success, but when they witness a murder and are put in a witness protection programme, they are forced back into each other’s arms.

Much of the film’s attempts at humour come from the ‘fish-out-of-water’ premise, as the sophisticated city folk are replanted to rural Wyoming, where they are placed with loving ranchers Clay (Elliott) and Emma (Steenburgen).

Director Marc Lawrence tries to wring laughs out of the culture clash situation, with very little success. Grant is shown to be pathetically inept at chopping wood, and injures himself when trying to shoot a gun. Parker, meanwhile, tries to pack fancy evening dresses for her sojourn to the country and is given a hard time over her vegetarianism.

As you can probably tell, the movie is utterly devoid of laughs. There is zero on-screen chemistry between Grant and Parker and the script is a lesson in dullness.

Romantic comedies are usually pretty formulaic cinema fare - but this contains none of the charm or wit to make it in any way passable.

Sarah McIntyre