Director: Roger Michell
Writer: Aline Brosh McKenna
Starring: Rachel McAdams, Harrison Ford, Diane Keaton, Patrick Wilson, Ty Burrell, Jeff Goldblum
Country: United States
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Time: 107 minutes
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
USA Release: 11/10/2010
On DVD (USA): 3/8/2011
Most people, not me particularly get up in the morning and while having a cup of coffee and getting ready for work might check out morning shows such as “Good Morning America” or the “Today Show“. Too bad some of the best stuff is probably what we don’t see on camera, the endless running around, arguments, etc. Much like the premise of movies such as “Broadcast News”, “Little Black Book”, “Network” and many others. “Morning Glory” is about the hardships of producing a morning show. The question asked is can this movie hold up against it’s predecessors, let’s find out.
In “Morning Glory” we meet the high strung Becky Fuller (Rachel McAdams), she just got fired from her job in New Jersey and is desperate to find a new one. Unfortunately because of her age no one takes her seriously as a producer. But lo and behold IBS is looking for someone to pick up the ratings on their morning show “DayBreak”, although they don’t think she is good enough because of her age they give her the job anyway. Within her first day she fires the co-host (that everyone hates) and now has to find his replacement. After looking at loads of tapes, she finds no one but after a encounter with the great Mike Pomeroy (Harrison Ford), she knows she found the man for the job. But to no one’s surprise he doesn’t want it, it’s just fluff and he did hard hitting news. Nevertheless he takes the job because he has time left on his contract and needs the money. Too bad he just turns the morning show into chaos, as he refuses to talk about anything other than news. As the ratings continue to fall Becky has to find a way to spice up the show, so she starts doing anything from making the weatherman ride a roller-coaster to having Colleen Peck (Diane Keaton) Mike’s co-host practically make out with a frog. While Becky is trying to boost ratings she is also trying to have a relationship with IBS producer Adam Bennett (Patrick Wilson) but due to the fact that she is addicted to her job, he doesn’t see it continuing. One day Mike decides to give her advice by saying she is worst than him, and she’ll end up alone and bitter if she continues down this road.
With “Morning Glory” it took an idea that hasn’t been really used in a while and tried to make it like this generations “Broadcast News” but it just doesn’t work. For one, much of the movie is on a consist roller-coaster but instead of a smooth ride it’s a lot of sudden ups and downs. The biggest disappointment was that you would think there would be better writing coming from the writer of “The Devil Wears Prada” but instead it’s just cheesy banter with cheep laughs mostly with the on-air part of the morning show. Yes there are some good parts, but it just didn’t come together as a whole. The best parts were the stuff behind the scenes with the producers and stuff outside of IBS. The movie is almost like “DayBreak” itself, it just didn’t want to be taken seriously. Even though it’s not the best material to work with, Rachel McAdams shines through with her dare I say it sometimes quirky take on Becky. She is the most convincing person in the movie, she owned being frazzled and irritable. The parts where she starts acting all nervous and weird was scary good, she was perfect for this role. Unfortunately the same could not be said for Harrision Ford, yes he is a great actor just not with comedy, he was stiff and unfunny. Although he played the more serious side fine, but this isn’t just a drama and they just should have gotten someone with better comedic skills. The film strived to get an all star cast but others were left with surprising small roles, Diane Keaton did her best with the material, but it ended up too wacky at times. Patrick Wilson was a good way to tie Rachel’s Becky with Harrison’s Mike but I felt there could have been more of a story there with him. He just seemed to fly in and out and only be there for big moments. But the most complete waste was Jeff Goldblum, there was just no need for him to be there he could have easily just been a voice on a phone or an e-mail. The only scene he’s need for is the interview.
Although it may seem like I trashed this movie a lot, there are fine points to it, and some decent performances especially by Rachel McAdams. So it’s at least worth taking a look at sometime, but there are far better movies out there about behind the scenes of a news network.
*Question for Roger Michell (Director) what was the point of the opening shot with the tiny screen that got bigger? I didn’t see any point in having that with the context of the scene, a normal full two shot would have been fine.