Last week we watched this and I quite enjoyed it! It may not be the kind of movie one would expect me write about on this blog, but I just want to keep my mind as open as possible to films! I must confess, that reading Roger Ebert's review of this made me interested in seeing this, which, if I remember correctly, I initially didn't want to after viewing the trailer oh the few odd years ago it came out. Anyways, it concerns (Canadian-born) Rachel McAdams as Becky Fuller, an ambitious television producer who, after being squeezed out of her job for someone worse but more experienced, finds a position as executive producer on a last-placed morning show on the fictional network IBS. Morning shows generally talk about the most inane topics and news items and this one is no exception. This isn't lost on the staff--or the talent, for that matter--which is made up with of a team of promising, but non-self-starting individuals looking for guidance. It doesn't help that the on-camera talent are a couple of weary prima donnas who have become complacent and far too comfortable in their positions. Desperate to earn some quick respect, Fuller prompty fires the male co-host, a smarmy, rude, and fake-tanned Paul McVee (Ty Burrell). She's left with the exasperated Colleen Peck (Diane Keaton), a woman who has spent about ten years too long doing the morning circuit, and an empty co-host chair that will need filling. Enter Mike Pomeroy (Harrison Ford), a Pulitzer-winning journalist with time left on his contract that he is determined to run out without having to work. Fuller sees her opportunity goes after Pomeroy, who by this stage is comfortable in his semi-retirement, anti-social behaviour, and alcoholism. Pomeroy has a deep bitterness against both the world and the media, not least of which is the horrid morning show with it's vapid personalities and stories. Leaning a little on him with a little contractual strong-arming--threatening, actually--Fuller convinces Pomeroy it is in his interest to come back to work, and we have ourselves a twosome for the morning airwaves. Pomeroy, with his past acclaim, has the biggest ego in the room, but who is not to be outshone by Colleen Peck. Their rivalry is often hysterical, a battle for camera time, which can ultimately summed up by their dispute over who gets to say "Goodbye" last at the end of the broadcast. What follows is the sort of expected race-for-ratings-in-the-face-of-imminent-cancelation, and a love story here and there, but MORNING GLORY never feels toooo cliche'd to be entertaining.
|Keaton and Ford.|
It is a smart and at times very funny film with some wonderful performances. Rachel McAdams is great as the Becky Fuller, her career drive and ambition to succeed is believable and never annoying, and she balances it nicely with a sort of melancholic yearning for a functioning relationship and all the other things one might expect to have in their adult lives: children, satisfied parents, a balanced life. The supporting cast is also a treat, made up of smaller roles which aren't lost to cliches either, played ably by Jeff Goldblum, Patrick Wilson, John Pankow. But the real stand-out here is surely Harrison Ford. In a way, it is a surprisingly role for Ford to take, but in a scene where he, as Pomeroy, angrily explains to Fuller why he will not do her morning show he says "I've won a Pulitzer, I've covered war zones, I've been shot at... I'm not going to be on your stupid show!" I was imagining Harrison Ford having the same conversation with the producer or his agent saying "I'm Indiana Jones, Han Solo, Blade Runner, the President,... I'm not going to be in your stupid morning show movie." But that sort of anger we have come to see in the elder Ford is channeled into this character, and towards the end, Pomeroy sees what is really important, and we get some sweet moments.
|McAdams and Ford.|
So! While maybe not being an award-winning movie, I still found much to like in it, and it was a nice, light, and entertaining look at the at times chaotic behind the scenes environment of morning-television. Worth seeing if any of what I've written has grabbed your attention. It sure was a lot better than I thought it would be!