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Review: 'Morning Glory' Is Cloudy With Hints Of Sunshine

Evan Crean Evan Crean
November 11th, 2010 10:45am EST

Morning Glory

Devotion to your work is generally a positive quality, however when that dedication consumes your life, it becomes a negative one because you have difficulty maintaining healthy relationships with others.  The frustrating part is that most of the time you do not receive accolades in your career to compensate for the human connection you miss out on for being a workaholic.  These are important lessons our protagonist Becky (Rachel McAdams) learns at the outset of “Morning Glory.”

Becky labors as a television morning show producer day after day, living and breathing the news.  She can barely make time to put down her cell phone, even when she is on a first date.  Station restructuring puts Becky out work, and without a job or serious relationship, she’s forced to take a hard look at the realism of her aspirations to join the famous NBC program “The Today Show.” 

After a great deal of searching and some serious begging, Becky is given the post of executive producer for a failing morning show called “Daybreak” on the fictional television network IBS.   The crew has resigned itself to mediocrity, and its anchors are selfish jerks that have no problem chewing up and spitting out producers.    

In a desperate move, Becky tries to rope in the seasoned newsman Mike Pomeroy (Harrison Ford) to be part of the struggling morning show.  This old school journalist whose ego needs its own dressing room, immediately clashes with her existing anchor Colleen Peck (Diane Keaton) who embraces morning show cliches. 

Ford’s pompous buffoon Pomeroy joins the show for the money but stirs up trouble for his refusal to do what he considers to be fluff.  Becky is faced with the challenges of winning over her staff and bringing up the show’s sagging ratings, while maintaining a relationship with a handsome reporter named Adam Bennett (Patrick Wilson).

One of the annoying things about this film is that it can’t seem to decide whether it wants to be a regular comedy or a romantic one.  It vacillates between the news program and Becky’s relationship with Adam, though the relationship aspect receives secondary attention.  There are certain aspects that point to the romantic angle like Pomeroy’s advice to Becky about making time for friends and family, though the picture’s primary focus seems to be her career. 

Most of the humor in this movie comes from Harrison Ford, which is unexpected given his usual dramatic roles.  His facial expressions and his crotchety nature as Pomeroy are pretty funny.  He plays cranky so well though, it leaves you wondering whether he is a fantastic actor, or just playing himself. 

Poor Becky is incredibly downtrodden through a good portion of “Morning Glory.”  Those around her really abuse her verbally and make her feel like she is destined to fail.  Were it not for McAdams perky attitude and refusal to give up, you might almost believe the naysayers. 

Her success is empowering because she labors for it, but the obstacles placed in path in her path come across as heavy handed.  As a comedy it’s funnier than you might expect, however it predominantly negative aspects overshadow its positive ones.  If there could be a weather report to describe “Morning Glory,” it could best be summed up as cloudy with hints of sunshine. 

My Grade: B -

Photo Credits: Morning Glory © Paramount Pictures Corporation. All rights reserved