In the romantic comedy Did You Hear About the Morgans?, two successful New Yorkers attempt to rebuild their marriage after a three-month separation. Sounds promising, but in the hands of writer-director Marc Lawrence (Music and Lyrics), their story quickly becomes a not-so-funny balance between the absurd and the cliched.

In the romantic comedy Did You Hear About the Morgans?, two successful New Yorkers attempt to rebuild their marriage after a three-month separation. Sounds promising, but in the hands of writer-director Marc Lawrence (Music and Lyrics), their story quickly becomes a not-so-funny balance between the absurd and the cliched.

Hugh Grant is Paul Morgan, another variation on his charming, bumbling archetype, who's trying to win back estranged wife Meryl (Sarah Jessica Parker). After they agree to a meeting and witness a murder, the Morgans are whisked away to Wyoming in a witness-relocation program. There, they're forced to spend time not only with each other, but also a community so foreign to the big-city folk, the natives might as well speak Japanese.

It's a stale combination of the old killer-on-their-trail chestnut and the fish-out-of-water setup. The humor is thin and regional, depicting Wyoming residents as Sarah Palin Republicans who love guns and meat - lots of meat - and most New Yorkers as snooty, card-carrying PETA members.

Worse is the chemistry between the stars. Grant does his best, but he and Parker clearly don't click. Their onscreen sparring is sometimes mildly amusing, but more often grating.

Substance comes from a mostly enjoyable supporting cast - especially Sam Elliott and Mary Steenburgen as husband and wife U.S. Marshals charged with protecting the Morgans - but they're not enough to save this.