Wednesday, November 10, 2010


It's hard not to like a movie like Morning Glory because it works extremely hard at keeping you entertained.  While hardly great or transcending, it's a solid, glossy piece of Hollywood entertainment that's bettered by a great cast, chiefly, Rachel McAdams and Harrison Ford.  Roger Michell, a British director with an excellent and eclectic resume (Venus, Notting Hill, Changing Lanes, Enduring Love, The Mother, Persuasion -- all films that I love), directs with swift, breezy confidence, if with an over-reliance on pop music-laced montage sequences.  Aline Brosh McKenna's predictable but snappy script is better than her work on The Devil Wears Prada (a massively overrated film) but could have benefited from a bit more surprise.  This isn't a smart-aleck satire like Broadcast News, but rather an energetic star vehicle that wants to satisfy the date-night crowd. The basic gist is that McAdams is an eager-beaver morning show producer who is given a chance to resurrect a flailing fourth place station.  She cajoles an old nightly news anchor (a crusty, salty-dog Ford) into co-hosting the show with a Meredth Vierra type played by a game Diane Keaton.  There's also an underdeveloped and obligatory romantic subplot for McAdams with Patrick Wilson, which seems to exist in order to show off McAdams in her underwear.  Not that there's anything wrong with that.  The best stuff in Morning Glory is the interplay between McAdams & Ford and Ford & Keaton, and the way the film portrays the hectic lifestyle of a morning show producer.  McAdams is pure effervescence, constantly smiling, always on the go, and unloading a barrage of rapid-fire dialogue.  It's an exhausting performance, and one of her best.  And Ford is a delight to see on the big screen again.  Playing off of his real-life persona and taking some cues from Rather and Jennings and Brokaw, he slides perfectly into character.  Also, just wait for the film's final shot -- it's the single best shot that I've seen all year.

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