Title: Morning Glory
Director: Roger Michell
Writer: Aline Brosh McKenna
Starring: Rachel McAdams, Harrison Ford, Diane Keaton, Patrick Wilson, Ty Burrell, Jeff Goldblum
MPAA Rating: PG-13, some sexual content including dialogue, language and brief drug references
Runtime: 102 min
Major Awards: –
IMDb Rating: 6.9
Rotten Tomatoes: 55%
To be perfectly honest, I was counting on Morning Glory to be infinitely better than it ultimately turned out to be. The pedigree it had was amazing, the director was Roger Michell, who had done Notting Hill; the writer was Aline Brosh McKenna who wrote the adaptation of The Devil Wears Prada; the producers were J.J. Abrams, a personal demigod of mine, and Bryan Burk, a frequent collaborator of his; and the main cast was comprised of Rachel McAdams, one of the most talented young actresses around, and Harrison Ford and Diane Keaton, who probably are two of my favorite all-time actors. So yes, I was expecting Morning Glory to be seriously good, and instead it was just okay, Ms. McAdams was especially great, but it was nowhere near close to that greatness I had once envisioned for it.
I don’t think I’ll ever say a single bad thing about Harrison Ford, mostly because the guy has starred in the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises, not to mention Blade Runner and many other great films. But if I have to be frank I will go ahead and say that the man hadn’t been cool in any role for a while now, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was cool but I think Indy fans were expecting something better, or at least something with a better final act, but nevertheless, the man hadn’t been awesome pretty much since Air Force One, and that was 1997. And for an actor I love and respect so much I found myself glad to see him rock it here in Morning Glory, in which he’s seriously funny, which will make the wait for next year’s potentially orgasm-inducing Cowboys & Aliens a little bit more bearable.
But the film belongs to Rachel McAdams, she’s an actress I’ve loved since I first saw her, which is to say something since the first time I saw her was in The Hot Chick, and that film sucked. But then of course came her supporting turn in Mean Girls which catapulted her to great heights, and a couple months after that came her starring role in the fantastic The Notebook, which cemented her spot up there. She’s followed that with many supporting turns such as in The Wedding Crashers and last year’s Sherlock Holmes, as well as a couple of starring performances in Red Eye and The Time Traveler’s Wife. And while all those movies have been quite good, some even awesome, and she’s been adorable as always in them, she still hasn’t found that great role for her, that role that will have her getting award buzz and seeing her reap the benefits.
A part of me wished Morning Glory would be just that for Ms. McAdams, the one that would maybe get her to snag that Best Actress nomination the Academy many times reserve for actresses in more lighthearted films, I’m thinking Renée Zellweger in Bridget Jones’s Diary, or her co-star in this one Diane Keaton in Something’s Gotta Give or Meryl Streep in both The Devil Wears Prada and Julie & Julia. I really was thinking that, I thought Morning Glory would be for Ms. McAdams the blockbuster that would catapult her to those ranks. However, while her performance is still very much golden, the film is too inconsistent for me to consider that still being a possibility, and I reckon she’ll have to make do with a nomination in the Musical/Comedy category at the Golden Globes.
But anyways, I still liked Morning Glory a fair bit. I like these comedies, the ones that focus on stuff that actually happens, that don’t concentrate on romances filled with impossible coincidences and personalities, it’s about people who work and about their lives at work and what happens there and because of it. There are going to be comparisons to James L. Brooks’ Broadcast News, I get those comparisons, they obvious when seeing this one, and while this one doesn’t even come close to that one, this is still pretty fun, the sort of film that you’ll giggle with and get carried away for an hour and forty minutes and leave the theatre happy with what you just saw.
The great Ms. McAdams plays Becky, who’s a morning TV producer who gets fired from one job only to land another one at Morning TV’s lowest-rated show. She goes at it with great energy though, and begins her quest to get some ratings the show’s way. She finds out that the network has Mike Pomeroy, one of her TV heroes from when she first started, hanging around working off the end of his contract. He’s Harrison Ford’s character and he hates what has become of network TV news, which of course makes of this TV hero a very grumpy man. Diane Keaton stars as the news anchor Becky puts him next to to co-host the show, and she’s totally game for pretty much everything.
Aline Brosh McKenna adapted The Devil Wears Prada into a killer film that gave Meryl Streep the Golden Globe Ms. McAdams will be going after and the Oscar nomination I just said I doubt she’ll get, and this one has some similarities. Young determined and ambitious girl trying to succeed in a unique work environment in which she’s working with a living legend of the craft that won’t make things easier for her. This one fares differently in the quality of the story, but just as great in how perfect the casting was. Mr. Ford and Ms. Keaton play off each other amazingly well, she’s always fun to watch and he in this one is seriously good at being funny.
But I really won’t stop talking about how great Ms. McAdams is here. She’s infectious, totally cute and lovable and everything you can imagine. Even when what’s going on isn’t grabbing your attention all that much every time she’s there you will pay notice, the film relies a lot on this, which is why when she’s not on-screen you will find its inconsistencies real easy. And while Morning Glory may play a bit too much like a sitcom, but no network sitcom has these actors, you must remember that. I just pray for one thing, and that is for J.J. Abrams to think that the film he produced at least had an amazing star in Rachel McAdams, and for him to remember her when he directs and/or writes something of his own.