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Movie ReviewsRating: 4.5 of 5 yaps

Morning Glory

“Morning Glory” is basically “Broadcast News” flipped on its head. Instead of valuing hard-edged journalism over TV showmanship, “Morning Glory” champions the fluff.

The set-up is that Rachel McAdams plays Becky Fuller, a hard-charging young executive producer brought in to turn around the moribund “Daybreak” morning show. She hires a downfallen Dan Rather-type anchorman, crustily played by Harrison Ford, to shake things up. They spend the rest of the movie battling over lightweight vs. substantive journalism.

As someone who started out covering politics and couldn’t wait to jump to the features side of the newsroom, maybe I’m just a soft touch. But I found this movie delightful and often raucously funny, with sharp performances by McAdams and Ford.

McAdams draws a character as distinctive as Holly Hunter’s Oscar-nominated turn in “Broadcast News,” playing Becky as a borderline neurotic woman whose career consumes her whole life. After she’s laid off from her job on “Good Morning, New Jersey,” her mother unceremoniously dumps cold water on her dream of one day producing the “Today” show.

“At 8, it was adorable. At 18, it was inspiring. At 28, it’s officially embarrassing. I just want it to stop before it becomes heartbreaking,” she says.

But a harried network boss (Jeff Goldblum) gives her a shot at “Daybreak,” figuring he’s got nothing to lose. The show is perpetually in fourth place in the ratings, is stuck with a tiny budget and a shoddy studio where all the doorknobs fall off, and the on-air talent looks like the castoffs of every cheesy show that ever got cancelled.

Becky sends a signal by firing the creepy co-anchor (Ty Burrell) and encouraging veteran Colleen Peck to let loose a little during the cooking sessions and exotic animal segments. But she really lands her white whale when she convinces — well, strong-arms, actually — Mike Pomeroy into joining the show.

As Mike never fails to remind everyone, he’s had one of the most storied careers in TV news: eight Peabody Awards, a Pulitzer and 16 Emmys. He only agrees to be on “Daybreak” so he can collect millions over the last two years of his contract, and oozes dripping condescension during his every interaction, on-air or off.

With his slicked-back hair and melodious grumble of a voice, Ford gives Mike some depth beneath the growl. Here’s a man who’s given his entire life over to his job, to the detriment of his personal relationships, and he’s been rewarded by getting the boot.

When he watches his successor on the evening news, swilling pricey scotch from a tumbler, Mike glares at the screen and fumes, “That’s my chair!” Ford shows us the man’s bile.

Director Roger Michell (“Venus”) keeps a delicate but firm hand on the film’s tone, which combines generous helpings of funny and sad. The original screenplay by Aline Brosh McKenna (“The Devil Wears Prada”) is clever and zippy, though it apportions too much screen time to some things and not enough to others.

For example, I was disappointed that Diane Keaton has a much skimpier role than previews suggested. We only see Colleen’s on-set diva act, and nothing more. There’s one scene where she and Mike engage in some acid banter on the show, and we expect it to go somewhere, but it’s quickly dropped.

Becky’s romance with another producer (Patrick Wilson) similarly feels short-shrifted, trotted out just long enough to remind us what she’s missing out on with her crazy work life.

Still, the strong far outweighs the weak in this spirited flick that, like its warring journalists, realizes that sweet and sour mix together quite nicely. See? You’re reading a movie Web site right now, so obviously you enjoy a little fluff.

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21 Responses to “Morning Glory”

  1. Tracy Huser says:

    Not much else to say except I agree with ALL the positive comments posted.
    Was a really good movie and would recommend to all.

  2. Connie says:

    This film had me laughing out loud which rarely happens at the movies any more. Rachel McAdams’ dialogue was so fast, I don’t know how she accomplished it. Her character was bright & shining with a wonderful upbeat attitude. Of course, who doesn’t love Harrison Ford and Diane Keaton.

  3. Kymberly Shoulders says:

    This movie was surprisingly GREAT! Was a refreshment to have a movie with an original storyline!

  4. Morning Glory was fun without resorting to being stupid or campy. Rachel McAdams did a fabulous job in her role, as did Diane Keaton. I wasn’t as impressed with Harrison Ford, as his supposed surliness often came off as old and confused. He was excellent however, when he filmed his actual news story. Very believable. I would recommend this to women of all ages (and a select handful of men).

  5. I’ve recommended Morning Glory to a number of people. Harrison Ford was perfect in the role as was Rachael McAdams.I felt her role was intriguing because she was willing to work and succeed on an unsuccessful morning shows. It is a light hearted and serious movie.

  6. Linda says:

    What’s the story? Morning Glory Great movie is the story! Rachel McAdams is as cute as always and Harrison Ford is the grumpy newscaster you know you are going to love. I thought Diane Keaton was hilarious when she decided not to let "Ernie" have all the fun with all the stunts. Definitely a movie everyone will love.

  7. Jeremy says:

    I am a guy and, believe it or not, I look forward to seeing this moving (to see Rachel McAdams of course!).

  8. Jon says:

    Looking forward to seeing this on a date night!

  9. Lauren Felts says:

    This looks like a fun, upbeat movie. I can’t wait to catch it soon!

  10. Brittany says:

    This movie was really good. Rachel McAdams was amazing and Harrison Ford was surprisingly funny. It is a really fun movie that has a lot of laughs!

  11. Robert Baumann says:

    Very funny and well directed. Harrison Ford ion one of his best movies!

    Robert Baumann

  12. We were lucky to get to see the preview of this movie. Rick went with me thinking it was going to be another Chic Flick but was pleasantly surprised that it was really good and he enjoyed it.
    I loved the humor, and seeing behind the scenes of how a newscast was done.
    It was great to go to see a movie that you laughed and felt good when you left the theater!

  13. Love Harrison Ford. Loved this movie! Saw it with the girls. Recommend it!

  14. I really enjoyed the movie. It struck me as plausible in the way older newsmen locally are sometimes removed from their spots. It was light and sad, with the enjoyment of watching Colleen try so hard to succeed even though she was told she couldn’t. I loved the way she handled Harrison Ford.

  15. Andy says:

    Good to know that this was a decent movie. I wasn’t sure about it, and the wife wants to see it. So, now I know that I won’t be completely bored out of my mind.

  16. Sonya says:

    This movie is fun for a girls night out!

  17. Sonya says:

    This movie is great for a girls night out!

  18. Melissa says:

    I saw this movie at the Film Yap premier. I loved it. It was just plain fun. Not overdone an overdone Chick Flick like I thought it might be. It was nice to see Harrison Ford in a comical film for a change. In addition Diane Keaton has great comical timing as usual.

  19. Amanda says:

    I really want to see this movie. Although, I think it might be a little depressing for me as I want nothing more than to work in film or television and I live in Indiana. Anyway. Still looks like a great film and I cant wait to see it.

  20. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by The Film Yap, Christopher Lloyd. Christopher Lloyd said: Here's my film review of "Morning Glory." http://www.thefilmyap.com/2010/11/10/morning-glory/ […]

  21. Hollie says:

    This movie looks really good! And I love Rachel McAdams and Jeff Goldblum! Looks like a great cast and a great script!