if Morning Glory were not advertised as being from the writer of
The Devil Wears Prada, that fact would not be hard to guess. The
storyline is similar – young, adorable workaholic gets her big break in her
dream job in New York City, but has to deal with a legendary-but-crotchety
older co-worker who seems to have made it their goal to make her life a
also shares Prada’s breezy manner, sharp writing, charming wit and
of this lovable vibe is directly attributable to the film’s star. Rachel
McAdams has worked hard to make it back into the A-List after her career
took a brief downturn a few years ago. It’s easy to forget that from
2006-2008 her body of work consisted of The Lucky Ones, The Married Life
and a supporting role in The Family Stone. She has since done
some high-profile (if not necessarily good) movies bringing her name
recognition back up, like The Time Traveler’s Wife, Sherlock Holmes
and State of Play (which was very good, but a box office
disappointment), however none of those titles were really the type which
could break her career out.
However, if there is any justice, this movie will cement her status as one
of the biggest stars in Hollywood – perhaps even the Sandra Bullock of the
statement does not necessarily mean that Morning Glory is a great
film. It isn’t. It’s a good-ish romantic workplace comedy that can be
occasionally a bit broad or sitcom-y and honestly has a pretty horrifying
message about the relative importance of hard news vs. fluff pieces.
However, for the most part Morning Glory works as light entertainment
and is a fun time at the movies, as long as you don’t think about it too
McAdams plays Becky Fuller – a career obsessed producer on a tiny New Jersey
morning show who is downsized out of a job. After an odd “give up on your
dreams” pep talk by her mom (Patti D’Arbanville) Becky strikes out in every
attempt to get a dream job in New York City, until she is finally given a
chance at the number four rated morning show on the fictional network IBS, a
disaster of a show run by incompetents and perverts and which has the
Becky knows that the show needs to get some gravitas to get an
audience, so she decides to force the hiring of Mike Pomeroy (Harrison Ford) – an old dean
of the television news who has been put out to pasture by the network, but
who is still under contract to them.
problem is Pomeroy is an old, crotchety guy who is too full of his own
importance as an anchor to do morning news type of stuff like banter or
cooking segments. They reach an impasse when Pomeroy’s news rep gives the
show a shot in the arm, but he refuses to play along with what he considers
“cheap stunts” that the show comes to rely on for ratings – stuff like
making the co-host (Diane Keaton) dress up in a fat suit and try sumo
wrestling or forcing the weatherman (Matt Malloy) to film himself in a
series of death-defying stunts like parachuting out of a plane.
you know what? Pomeroy is sort of right. Those things aren’t news and
should not be on a news show. Morning Glory seems to fault Pomeroy
for having journalistic integrity and refusing to pander. Granted, he does
go a little too far in his stance – for example cooking segments may not be
news, but they have long been a staple of morning talk shows – however his
unwillingness to do stupid stunts on the air is not necessarily a bad
enough of my soapbox on the state of TV journalism.
Beyond the over-achieving McAdams, Morning Glory is populated by
actors who are probably just a bit too good for what they are doing, but
they sell the story with panache and make it even better than it
should be. Particularly underused is Diane Keaton as an aging former beauty
queen who has grown old as the co-host of a morning show and is now tired of
the constant revolving door going on around her. She is funny enough with
the role, but it isn’t a juicy part like co-star Harrison Ford was handed.
Jeff Goldblum is another comic force that is oddly muffled as the frustrated
network exec who decided to give McAdams a shot.
(Semi-interesting trivia fact: This is the first time the Keaton and
Goldblum have been in a film together since her breakthrough in Annie
Hall in 1977 – though, granted, Goldblum only had one line in that
There is also a romantic subplot with Patrick Wilson which feels undercooked
and a bit tacked on.
However, when Morning Glory is doing what it does best – being a
light and frothy workplace comedy – it does a pretty damned good job
Jay S. Jacobs
Copyright ©2010 PopEntertainment.com.
All rights reserved. Posted: November 10, 2010.