Three of my favorite actors – – Harrison Ford, Diane Keaton and Rachel McAdams – – joined together to make a comedy called “Morning Glory.” I figured that with all of those high powered names under one roof, the film would be destined for success. Sadly I was wrong!
“Morning Glory” is about a young morning television producer named Becky (McAdams). It has been her dream to work at the “Today Show” since she was old to begin watching TV. She seems to be on her way to reaching that goal, progressing through the ranks at a station she loves.
One day she is told by an insider that she about to be promoted to head producer. When her boss calls into the office, her heart is full of joy and hope. That doesn’t last long. Instead of promoting her, her boss fires her. He explains the station is bringing in a new head producer straight from college and that he can’t afford to keep both of them.
At first Becky is depressed but she keeps putting out feelers and eventually gets and offer from another station. She is hired to executive produce their morning show known as Daybreak.
After meeting the male anchor of that show, Becky makes her first executive decision. She fires him. That leaves her without a co-anchor to go with Colleen Peck (Keaton).
Eventually she gets it in her mind to use Mike Pomeroy (Ford), a hard news guy that by some miracle is under contract with the station. While he tries to wiggle out of the contract clause that might put an end to his free ride at IBS, he eventually capitulates and agrees to do the job.
There is just one minor problem. Pomeroy is the curmudgeon to end all curmudgeons and he has final story approval. That means he doesn’t have to report any of the fluffy morning news he doesn’t want to. Unfortunately that is about 90% of what the show is all about.
Colleen, of course, is none too happy to have a has been come into the show and take the top position she feels she has earned. What results is a disaster of epic proportions.
Amidst all of this, Becky starts dating Adam (played by Patrick Wilson), a magazine editor, who works in the same building. But their relationship is strained because Becky can never stop working.
As if all of that isn’t enough, Becky finds out that her show is continuing to fall in the ratings. Jerry Barnes (played by Jeff Goldblum) tells her they are closing it down in six weeks. Becky isn’t about to let that happen and gets him to agree if she gets her ratings up to a certain level, he’ll keep the show going.
That is when Becky’s creativity finally kicks in. She begins making changes to make the show more fun to watch. Everyone gets on board with her but one – Mike Pomeroy.
As the ratings begin to improve; however, even he gets into the game, pulling off the hard news story to end all hard news stories. That puts the ratings over the top and earns the show another year of trial.
All of these changes catch the attention of, you guessed it, “The Today Show”, who suddenly wants to hire Becky. Now she is torn between the family she has built at IBS and her dream to work for NBC.
Which will she choose? Will Pomeroy finally get with the program to save a show he never wanted to be one in the first place? Will Colleen and Mike develop a good working relationship? Will Becky and Adam get their love lives in order?
Obviously, those are questions you can learn for yourself by watching this film. I’m not going to spoil the fun.
“Morning Glory” has all of the pieces to make a good comedy. The script, penned by Aline Brosh McKenna is not a bad one. Director Michell has some winning moments. Keaton and McAdams maintain the usual charm that made them stars in the first place. Even Ford has a moment of brilliance here and there.
However, there are also some major issues. The script doesn’t delve deep enough the lives of the characters for the audience to care about what happens to them. The director gets lost most of the time with regard to how to make his characters come alive. Keaton and Ford don’t relate to each other in any way. In fact the entire cast and crew lacks the chemistry needed to make the film work.
I wanted to like this movie. I have been crying for something other than action, sex, violence or stupidity for months now. However, “Morning Glory” just didn’t fit the bill. I give it 2 out of 5 stars. I wish I could have offered that extra half point, but in good conscious I can’t even call this one average.
RATING SCALE USED:
0 = A stinker. Don’t waste the money!
1 = Bad. Rent it at your own risk.
2 = Below average. See only if you have time to kill.
2.5 = Average. A toss up.
3 = Good. Worth a looksee.
3.5 = Very Good. I recommend it.
4 = Excellent. Don’t miss it!
4.5 = Outstanding. What are you waiting for?
5 = Destined to become a classic. You will be sorry if you don’t see it.