Review in a Hurry: Spunky TV producer Becky Fuller is like every other go-getter, just like Morning Glory is like every other underdog movie. But can-do gal Rachel McAdams does wonders with a fairly predictable story. Plus, who knew all those barely there Harrison Ford roles would (finally) pay off with a His Girl Friday-paced flick?
The Bigger Picture: Becky's been hired to save Daybreak, a morning TV show currently lingering in fourth place. Her boss (Jeff Goldblum) gives her an ultimatum: She has six weeks to get the ratings up. Way up. Becky's ace in the hole is veteran TV reporter Mike Pomeroy (Ford), but that's only if she can convince the serious journalist a fluffy morning show is worth his time. And he hates the word "fluffy."
McAdams played a reporter in last year's underwhelming thriller State of Play, but here she's in comedy mode and maybe you've noticed, but McAdams excels in comedies. She's been the best part of so many movies (going as far back as Mean Girls) that it's a wonder no one has given her a role like this before.
Most effective is when McAdams spars with Goldblum and especially Ford. Ford's quite inspired casting for Pomeroy—with the actor and the character being a legend, he never allows the crankiness to stray into unfunny territory. Also a hoot is watching Ford go at it with his co-anchor, Diane Keaton. All the banter crackles.
Best of all, Morning Glory isn't merely a rom-com.
True, Patrick Wilson plays a producer who meets cute with Becky, leading to much flirting (and more!), but the story isn't about her having to choose between the man of her dreams vs. her dream job. If anything, her most important relationship is with Pomeroy. And thankfully, not in the May-December romance way.
The focus is always on Becky trying to succeed in one of the most competitive careers around. Credit screenwriter Aline Brosh McKenna (The Devil Wears Prada) for staying with Becky's ambitious streak.
Sadly, the story is merely serviceable—and sort of dated.
Aside from a few moments of Becky talking about the need for more YouTube hits for her morning show, or Pomeroy's constant Blackberry clicking, Morning Glory would have been better served set in the '80s. Although that might have led to comparisons to Broadcast News, and that's a battle even Becky Fuller can't win.
The 180—a Second Opinion: Why so many music montages a la Working Girl? Becky running in slo-mo to the job! Becky thinking long and hard with swelling rock in the background! Why not just go all in and have her throw her hat in the air and twirl around?