Movie Review Rewind: Morning Glory (2010)
There is a glow about Rachel McAdams. No matter what movie it is, if she is in it, then it is already better. She is the soul of Morning Glory, a romantic comedy about the behind-the-scenes of a morning TV show that has heart, humor, and a brain. Becky (McAdams) is a young but determined television producer who loses her job in New Jersey and is willing to take any job, which leads to her producing “Daybreak,” a national morning-news program with a low-morale and dead last in the ratings. No one thinks the show or her have a chance of surviving.
So in an effort to revitalize the show, she hires legendary anchorman Mike Pomeroy (Harrison Ford), who has won every award you can in broadcasting and a major pain in the ass. The other host is Colleen (Diane Keaton) who is not on board at first but soon starts to dig what Becky is trying to do. And she continually clashes with Mike on and off the air. And while trying to save a show and her job, Becky still finds time to fall in love with another show’s producer Adam Bennett (Patrick Wilson).
Director Roger Michell (Notting Hill) rounded up a great cast, but underused quite a few of them. Diane Keaton is a wonderful actress and does well at comedy, but she is rarely used in this to show it off. She is there as someone for Harrison Ford to fight with and that is about it. Those two are great together and should have been given more time. Jeff Goldblum plays Becky’s boss and he rarely gets to speak at all and when he does it just is not that funny or interesting but that is not Goldblum’s fault. And the romance between McAdams and Wilson is almost pointless. Nothing ever gets going good enough for it to feel serious or legitimate. He might as well just be a best friend who gives encouraging advice.
So that leaves McAdams and Ford, and that is where the real story is. There is a war between the two almost the entire time, but it becomes inspiration for both to be better. McAdams’ character is trying to create a completely different atmosphere at the show and become more like a family. At the same time, using that positive vibe to make the show better and get the ratings up. Ford’s character is a legend in the TV universe, but considers almost all of the topics beneath him. He does not do cooking, fashion, music, or entertainment pieces. So he practically wants to have nothing to do with the show or anyone involved and just wants to collect his check.
Ford has played a grumpy man for a long time and he does in this as well. With that said, there is more to Mike Pomeroy than just a bad attitude. He lets his ego get the best of him on many occasions and winds up with no one left in his corner. He has always worked and been the best at what he does. But he has been kicked off his throne and does not want to admit it. Ford does a nice job playing a guy who has to come to terms with where he is at in his career. I think Harrison Ford can relate. Just for the record, he is actually funny in this.
McAdams is perfect as Becky. She is a charming, independent woman who is willing to fight for what she wants in order to succeed. A young woman who will not give up no matter what. She deals with problems that come at her from every direction. And like Pomeroy, she is married to her work which could cost her a chance of having any kind of a personal life. Becky is a character who is struggling with so much, but McAdams makes it look so effortless.
Morning Glory says a lot about work and the effects it can have on people and their relationships. And Michell takes the subject of having a career and makes it funny and enjoyable while still watching people stress out. The movie also gives McAdams and Ford the stage to duke it out. It is funny and entertaining. Actually, watching Ford piss everyone off is a sight to see.
Brandon Vick is a member of The Music City Film Critics’ Association, the resident film critic of the SoBros Network, and the star of The Vick’s Flicks Podcast. Follow him on Twitter @SirBrandonV and be sure to search #VicksFlicks for all of his latest movie reviews.