Movie Review: Morning Glory (A)

Morning Glory is, without reservation, the most charming, smile-inducing movie I’ve seen in 2010 and nearly everything good in the movie happens because of the charisma, both standalone and shared, Rachel McAdams (Sherlock Holmes) and Harrison Ford (Extraordinary Measures) bring to their roles as a newbie morning show producer and an aging, old-school, prima donna newsman. None of this should be a surprise to anyone familiar with director Roger Michell, helmsman of the charming Notting Hill and Venus, and screenwriter Aline Brosh McKenna, who penned the ever popular The Devil Wears Prada and 27 Dresses. McKenna’s writing is quick and zippy, and Michell lends a light hand to the film, allowing his stars to shine.

Rachel McAdams plays Becky Fuller, a 28 year-old recently fired morning news show producer, who finds herself at one of life’s many crossroads. Does she continue with her dream of working on NBC’s Today Show, or does she resign the rest of her life to something less glamorous and satisfying. Her mother is no help, serving as the Debbie Downer, telling Becky that her dream has now officially become embarrassing and is a breath away from becoming heartbreaking.

However, Becky doesn’t listen to the naysayers and she interviews with Jerry Barnes (Jeff Goldblum), a big wig at the fictitious – and perpetually last place – IBC network, who, despite initial reservations and misgivings about her education and resume, offers her the job based solely on her enthusiasm and get-up-and-go personality. At one point, as she enthusiastically talks about her passion, he asks her if she’s going to start singing. This is a great role for Jeff Goldblum, whom we haven’t seen much of since the late 90s, and he’s able to bring his dry whit and half-cocked, tender anger to a smaller, more manageable role. This is the kind of role that gets noticed and smells of comeback.

After her first day at work, Becky realizes she’s inherited quite the mess. The morning show she now executive produces, Daybreak, is a joke. The offices are falling apart, the staff’s story ideas are ridiculous, they can’t get any decent talent booked, and her anchors, one of which runs a foot fetish porn site on the side, are boisterous, demanding and full of hot air. The one who isn’t fired, Colleen Peck (Diane Keaton), appears to be on the cusp of an unending nervous breakdown. Still, the longstanding crew of Daybreak recognizes Becky’s ambition and things start to take shape and look somewhat promising.

Enter Mike Pomeroy (Harrison Ford), an IBC veteran newsman, whom Becky invites to be Collen’s co-host. Pomeroy, a lover of hard, intelligent news, considers this an insult and refuses, until Becky tosses his contract in his face and lets him know he can’t be relaxing on IBC’s dime anymore. This is where the movie really takes off. The saltiness and surliness Ford brings to Pomeroy ignites the chemistry between him and McAdams (as well as Keaton) and the duo drives the movies laughs and heart with an ease and simplicity. I know it’s early, but mark my words, Harrison Ford will receive some Oscar nods for best supporting actor for this role.

Bottom line: Morning Glory is an easy movie to digest and love. There is nothing overly cheesy or pretentious fluttering through it’s heartstrings that make the storyline and characters hard to digest. I found myself loving all the characters because they all felt real. Their problems, stresses, decisions and emotions all resonated with me and I cared. This is a must-see movie and one I’d not only see again in theaters, but that I plan on adding to my Blu-ray collection.

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