Directed by: Roger Michell
Cast: Rachel McAdams, Harrison Ford, Diane Keaton, Patrick Wilson, Jeff Goldblum
Running Time: 1 hr 42 mins
Release Date: November 10, 2010
PLOT: Becky (McAdams) is a television producer who is thrown into the position of trying to save “Daybreak,” a morning show on the struggling network IBS.
WHO’S IT FOR? It’s a terribly formulaic movie with just a little bit more to offer. Want to see a woman in a power position full of bumbling spirit? Then McAdams is your girl.
EXPECTATIONS: McAdams, Ford, Keaton and the director who brought us Notting Hill. What’s not to love with this mix? Plus, it’s about a TV morning news program, something I am very familiar with.
Rachel McAdams as Becky: She’s a workaholic. Instead of simply being about her dedication to her job it means she doesn’t have a boyfriend. Oh my god. She’s 28 and doesn’t have a boyfriend. Can you stand it? Can you? I did, but just barely. Once you get past that, this is a pretty good character. They make her a little frazzled. Sure, that mainly means her hair is messy. They should have just focused on her schedule. A TV morning news producer works off hours and has no time for a social life (during the week). It doesn’t seem to be that much of a problem here because she never sleeps. Also, what does Becky stand for? Is it just ratings? McAdams is a charmer, so most of you won’t think of all these questions. It’s my job.
Harrison Ford as Mike Pomeroy: I think Ford is looking to have an “old-curmudgeon off” with Clint Eastwood. With this role and his previous Extraordinary Measures, Ford is making his mark as the new old angry guy on the block. At least here his character has a reason to be angry. Mike is clinging to the past of his glorious anchor days. I decided it was a Dan Rather impression, but I think it’s open to interpretation. Things are most satisfying with this film when Mike is doing something besides sulking and rolling his eyes.
Diane Keaton as Colleen Peck: She’s regulated to sidekick status in more ways than one in this film as a lifelong morning host. I can’t decide if she’s at her best when she’s bickering with Mike or teaming up with Becky to do anything for ratings. Here’s the thing, if you get Keaton in your film, you make room for her. I didn’t feel like Morning Glory did.
Patrick Wilson as Adam Bennett: It’s not Wilson, it’s his character I am talking about here, OK ladies? So, he’s perfect. He works different hours as Becky. Hot models adore him. And for some reason he’s interested in Becky who constantly can’t leave her work behind and focus on the moment. By the way, we know nothing about him or what he stands for. In every sense, it feels like they smashed this romantic story line into the film.
TALKING: The comedy comes from more physical actions than the dialogue at hand. A perfect example of this is Ty Burrell as the old host. He seriously believes he should look at porn at work all day long? There are some good moments with Becky and Mike becoming boss/talent or daughter/father or whatever this relationship is. The other relationship (the romantic one) is mishandled and leads to one of the oddest, quickest forced break-ups in recent movie memory.
SIGHTS: The newsroom and everything to do with the look of “Daybreak” is dead on. Everything. They definitely got that right. The problem comes with everything else. It seems mis-edited, like there is an extra 10 minutes that really brings the film together that is just lying on the floor somewhere. Do we really need slow motion shots of her “thinking back” on her crew? What about the odd angles when she walks into NBC? The shots of Becky running are the worst. First we get her chasing down her boss (barely used Jeff Goldblum) on multiple runs, and then she’s running back to her studio and elegantly leaping through a pile of pigeons. At times this film looks like a music video in the worst way possibly. It removes us from the moment.
SOUNDS: Morning Glory wants it all. R&B, pop, oldies and a musical score that has no focus. The worst is the cover of “Stuck in the Middle with You.”
BEST SCENE: When “Daybreak” finally goes for ratings there are some shockingly funny (albeit cheap) laughs, especially with the weatherman.
ENDING: So, she had a meeting at like 7:30 in the morning? And Mike knew she’d be watching TV during the interview? It’s a couple of exaggerated leaps for a film that tries to stay true to the TV news business. Again, if you think I’m nitpicking, then you don’t care about the difference between renting and spending money at the movie theater.
QUESTIONS: What’s the point? I mean the main point of the film? Ford’s character got his start with the Beaverton Bee. Any Portlanders know if there is/was really a thing? More importantly, while I love the product, did anyone notice the prime usage of Emergen-C in this film? As for the plot, did anyone think it was heading in a Major League direction for a while? I think maybe it should have.
REWATCHABILITY: It seems like the perfect airplane movie where you say, “That wasn’t bad.” I’ll spend my time elsewhere.
Becky wants it all. Actually, it seems like Morning Glory wants Becky to have it all. We see her lose her job and struggle to find a new one. That takes 30 minutes. Why? To know she’s a go-getter? Can’t we tell that by her frazzled hair? Just like in Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps with Gordon Gekko. The hair says it all. One moment, it’s a free spirit, then it’s suddenly slicked and down to business.
I thought the film finally found its voice about halfway through. That’s way too long. Get the ratings or else. Now I know what’s at stake. Plus, how can we convince Mike to play ball? But this film never gets to the necessary conversation of entertainment vs. news and how (and if) this matters. Sure, it talks about it for a couple of seconds, but it never feels like there is anything at stake.
With a cast like this, you might think they’re attempting to update Broadcast News. That’s not the case. With Morning Glory you’ll spend a little too much time thinking, “What is the story?”
FINAL SCORE: 5/10