AWFJ Women On Film – “Morning Glory” – Review by Susan Granger
Comedy’s hard but the challenge is made a bit easier when you’ve got a leading lady like perky Rachel McAdams, who so completely embodies her character of a 28 year-old wannabe television producer that Harrison Ford graciously gave her top-billing.
After losing her job at a New Jersey morning show because of budget cuts, smart, savvy and spunky Becky Fuller (McAdams) is determined succeed when she’s given the chance to raise Manhattan-based “Daybreak” from the ratings gutter by a skeptical IBC executive (Jeff Goldblum). “Daybreak” is hosted by telegenic veteran Colleen Peck (Diane Keaton) and obnoxiously smarmy Paul McVee (Ty Burrell), whom Becky promptly fires, endearing her to the beleaguered staff and earning the admiration of news-hour hunky Adam Bennett (Patrick Wilson). Searching for a replacement host, Becky discovers a loophole in the contract of a venerable, retired anchorman, Mike Pomeroy (Ford) that requires him to accept an IBC job – if it’s offered – in order to collect his multi-millions each year. Pompous, cynical, Dan Rather-esque Pomeroy is not pleased, to say the least, refusing to report ‘fluffy’ soft-news stories and, above all, to indulge in babbling banter with contentious Colleen Peck. So Becky must use all her irrepressible energy and inventive ingenuity to succeed.
Written by Aline Brosh McKenna (“The Devil Wears Prada,”) and directed by Roger Mitchell (“Notting Hill”), this innocuous, formulaic romantic comedy combines elements of the sit-com “WKRP in Cincinnati” with “Working Girl,” “Broadcast News” and other commentaries on the sad state of television today, presenting a series of contrived obstacles that idealistic Becky must overcome. But Rachel McAdams is engagingly endearing and Harrison Ford does crusty, cranky arrogance so superbly that if there’s ever a revival of the “Grumpy Old Men” franchise, he’s obviously ready. And their chemistry is undeniable, if strictly platonic in deference to their obvious age difference.
While it should never be confused with Katharine Hepburn’s 1933 melodrama entitled “Morning Glory,” on the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, this “Morning Glory” is a mildly amusing, screwball 7, evoking a surprising amount of laughter.