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Morning Glory

Morning Glory

What she said:

She

I rented Morning Glory thinking it would be a powder puff rom-com.  Well, it’s actually hardly a rom-com at all.  Yes, there’s some comedy, some pretty good comedy.  But the romance isn’t really center stage in this movie. 

Rachel McAdams plays a career woman trying to get ahead in the TV business.  She was recently laid off, and is trying to make it in the New York media as a producer.  McAdams gets a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity at a major network.  True, they’re #4 in the morning show timeslot, but they’re still network.  So basically the movie follows McAdams as she tries to turn this struggling morning talk show into a winner, at threat of once again losing her job.  There are lots of difficult personalities to contend with, and she learns a valuable lesson in where to draw the line between working and overworking.

Harrison Ford and Diane Keaton play the two morning anchors.  Ford is a hard-hitting former nightly news anchor whose career has been marred by his reluctance to report the fluff that sells.  Keaton embraces the morning talk show fodder.  The two of them are quite funny as they lock horns.  Ford’s jokes are often the funniest, and I sort of get the impression that he’s a lot like his character, a bit of a crotchety old man.  The movie is pretty much fun, and it’s sort of refreshing that it doesn’t go too heavy on the romance.

Diagnosis: Thumbs up.

What he said:

He

This is the second movie I have seen in which Rachel McAdams plays an extreme workaholic. The other was Red Eye, which I highly recommend. My point being – sorry to any current or potential future employers – it is not something I identify with. To me, a job is just that and not a way of life. I will simply never been that way and do not comprehend why someone would want to spend that much time working.

Despite that, I have found that she has the ability to play something that is the total opposite of me with extreme likeability. She has a certain charm to her that makes characters feel very genuine. Her smile helps too.  

In this role, she plays Becky Fuller; an aspiring television producer. Having been recently fired from her job, Becky is willing to do anything to find employment. She manages to land a position on a struggling morning TV show.

After some overwhelming circumstances, she quickly puts her foot down on her first day by firing the male co-host (whose is played hilariously by Modern Family star Ty Burrell in some very limited scenes).  Being a pervert and generally unlikable the staff loves her bold move. The only problem is it leaves her one co-host short.

Through some loop hole she is able to land one-time ace reporter Mike Pomeroy, who has been sitting in career limbo after a contract dispute. Pomeroy (played wonderfully by Harrison Ford) is an old school reporter who has no time for the nonsense that is morning TV. Initially he scoffs at the idea, but reluctantly agrees to take the job. Pomeroy already has a rep as a miserable old curmudgeon and that is only intensified by the job, which he views as beneath him.

Harrison Ford is truly funny in this role. I don’t work in the TV biz, but it’s not hard to imagine that the on-air talent may be “a little” difficult to work with and he portrays that with a legitimacy that only a veteran like him can. He is particularly funny when interacting with co-host Colleen Peck (played by Diane Keaton).

Colleen is as miserable as Pomeroy, however she’s completely resigned to the fact that she’s going to finish out her career in morning TV hell. She is a defeated woman who takes her misery out on all those around her, particularly her executive producers (of which there’s been roughly one a year for the last dozen or so years).

Becky is tasked with forcing these two to get along and hopefully increase the ratings along the way.

She also happens to meet a potential love interest along the way (played by Patrick Wilson); though the movie smartly makes this a side story. It doesn’t shove this aspect of the film in your face. If you are worried about this being an overly sappy romantic comedy, don’t be. This is more drama/comedy than rom-com. It is a decision that pays off very well in this movie reviewer’s opinion.

Rating: Thumbs up.

This movie review was written for your reading pleasure on March 13, 2011.