Released: 10th November 2010
Directed by: Rober Michell
Starring: Harrison Ford, Diane Keaton, Rachel McAdams
What exactly is your story “Morning Glory”? I’ll field this question, thank you. “Morning Glory” is a big ol’ fat fluff piece. Which turns out is the very thing Becky (Rachel McAdams), a young perky workaholic producer begs the esteemed no-nonsense new anchor, Mike Pomeroy (Harrison Ford) to give into doing; puff pieces. “Morning Glory” argues the merits of entertainment vs. news; waging higher on entertainment. Too bad this film isn’t all that entertaining, instead amounting to that fluff piece which, just like the real morning talk shows specialize in, is good for a few smiles and then is quickly forgotten.
Rachel McAdams is definitely one of the few bright actresses able to take over Julia Robert’s throne. Like the film itself, McAdams takes a while to hit her stride. She attacks Becky at first with a gross perkiness that eventually evolves into an engaging awkwardness, becoming the film’s strong leader that earns her top billing over the likes of screen legends Diane Keaton and Harrison Ford. But unlike the film itself, when she does hit her stride, she keeps getting better.
Becky’s the young vunder producer at a New Jersey morning talk show, who when gets a call up from the boss, is expecting a promotion, even wearing specially made t-shirts that say “I accept”, but instead gets canned due to the station’s budget problems. To keep what her mother calls an embarrassing dream going, Becky goes on a relentless job search. She finally lands a producing job with IBS headed by Jerry Barnes, played by the always smoothly soothing Jeff Goldblum. IBS is the fourth place network morning talk show that’s lower funded, lower viewed, and lower respected than its big brother “The Today Show”.
Becky’s big task of turning the ship around starts with her winning over the long disgruntled former beauty queen anchor Colleen Peck, played by the still gorgeous and hilarious but sadly under-utilized Diane Keaton. Becky wins her favor and the rest of the staff on day one by firing a sleazy male co-anchor, played by the spot on Ty Burrell. Day two consists of her basically blackmailing the Dan Rather-esq Mike Pomeroy into being the other co-anchor and giving the show the jolt it needs in the ratings from having a big name attached. Cue inevitable conflict. Pomeroy doesn’t do cute field pieces; he’s a Pulitzer Prize winner. Pomeroy doesn’t cover celebrity interviews; he’s an eight-time Emmy winner. Pomeroy most certainly doesn’t do cooking pieces; he’s been shot on air. But Pomeroy will do the show so he doesn’t lose the six million dollars in his contract. Ford fuels the cantankerous Pomeroy with enough gravel in his voice to build a highway. I couldn’t help but think of the parallels between Ford and Pomeroy as an old stuffy big name who hasn’t done much in a while (I’m not counting that last Indy Jones head scratcher) who, probably like his character, had to be begged to take this job.
The unwillingness of Pomeroy to budge mixed with Becky’s trying to improve the show goes on for way too long, yada, yada, yada. Oh yeah and there’s a somewhat involved love story developing between Becky and former tortured employee of Pomeroy, Adam Bennet, played by Patrick Wilson (who I still don’t think has been utilized as well since his breakout performance in “Little Children”). Director Roger Mitchell (Notting Hill, Venus) doesn’t get the ball rolling until the inevitable “get the ratings up or you’re fired” scene of the film. When Becky finally stops playing by the rules, chuckles start piling up. Additionally, Peck and Pomeroy’s on-air bickering alongside the very funny antics of the “do anything for ratings goat” weatherman (Matt Malloy) would make me want to watch that morning show. But after a few laughs, the film loses what little steam it had going by falling on its schmaltzy face, killing us with forced sentiment.
“Morning Glory” didn’t have enough to keep this viewer. Let’s see what else is on.
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