Australian Council on Children and the Media

Did you hear about the Morgans?

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Not recommended under 8, PG to 13 (Violence, sexual references)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Did you hear about the Morgans?
  • a review of Did you hear about the Morgans? completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 26 December 2009.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 8 Not recommended due to violence and sexual references
Children 8-12 Parental guidance recommended due to violence and sexual references
Children 13 and over OK for this age group

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Did you hear about the Morgans?
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild coarse language, violence and sexual references
Length 103 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Meryl (Sarah Jessica Parker) and Paul Morgan (Hugh Grant) are recently separated. Paul had a one night stand on a conference and as a result Meryl no longer trusts him. They are now living separately. Paul is keen to get back together but Meryl is hesitating so he takes her out to dinner to tell her that he is sorry and ask if they can get back together. After dinner they go for a walk as Meryl needs to meet a client. When they get to the client’s house they witness his murder and also see the killer.

From this point onwards they are in danger. The killer needs to eliminate them as they are the only witnesses who can identify him, so the police put them into a witness protection program. This is a situation which they are very unhappy about, but unfortunately they have no choice.

They are flown to a little town in Wyoming called Ray, where they are forced to spend a week together in the care of Marshal Wheeler (Sam Elliot) and his wife Emma (Mary Steenburgen), the deputy. There are no distractions from work or friends or city escapes and as a result they start to talk.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Infidelity; divorce

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie including:

  • The client falls off the balcony with a knife in his back.
  • The killer tries to break into Meryl’s apartment and takes a shot at her.
  • The killer goes to Wyoming and tries to shoot them while they are in the sheriff’s house.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes and scary visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under eight, including the following:

  • There is one scene where Paul is stuck outside with a bear that is growling and becoming aggressive. The scene is played in a comedic style but younger children may find it scary

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

No additional scenes

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Nothing of concern

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Nothing of concern

Product placement

Nothing of concern

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • An argument about why Paul had an affair and the fact that they had to have sex when she, Meryl, was ovulating
  • A discussion about the girl that Paul slept with and what she was like to have sex with.
  • A discussion about Meryl’s one night stand with a man called Larry.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • Several scenes where Paul and Meryl kiss.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • Meryl tells a man at the table next to them in a café to stop smoking
  • Paul and Meryl have wine on their table in the cafe

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • “bullshit”, “bloody” “bollocks”, “screw you”

In a nutshell

Did you hear about the Morgans? is a comedy that focuses on the importance of good communication in a relationship.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • the importance of listening to others
  • tolerance for people who are different to you
  • learning about others before you judge them.

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