Review: Morning Glory


Directed by: Roger Michell
Written by:Aline Brosh McKenna
Starring: Rachel McAdams, Harrison Ford, Diane Keaton, Patrick Wilson, Jeff Goldblum
Released: January 6, 2011
Grade: B+

Becky Fuller (McAdams) loves a challenge.  Despite her relative inexperience, she’s just landed the job as producer of Daybreak, a morning show which is broadcast nationally across the United States.  It may sound like a dream job but it’s anything but.  Daybreak’s ratings are horrendous.  It’s sitting in fourth place – miles behind the always popular Today Show.  Becky has been told by her boss (Goldblum) that if the ratings don’t improve, the show will be canned.

After sacking the male anchor on her first day, Becky goes in search of a replacement.  The man she finds his Mike Pomeroy (Ford), a veteran who has been covering high-profile news stories for close to 40 years.  Becky is excited.  Mike is not.  He wants nothing to do with the show.  He hates the idea of breakfast shows with their cooking segments, entertainment reports and repetitive infomercials.  He’d rather be covering serious political issues.

Mike doesn’t have a choice unfortunately.  He’s bound by his contact with the network.  You can probably see where this is going and yes, it’s a recipe for disaster.  Mike is going to make Becky’s job as difficult as possible.  He refuses to follow orders while off the air.  He refuses to engage with his co-anchor (Keaton) while on the air.  All he wants is to be off the show.

It comes down the age old question – what happens with an immovable object meets and unstoppable force?  Who is going to budge first?  Will Becky concede defeat and get rid of Mike?  Or can she find a way to change his gloomy temperament?  Perhaps neither will come to fruition.  The ratings are trending downwards and time is running out.

There’s a subplot to this main storyline that revolves around Becky’s relationship with Adam Bennett (Wilson), a fellow employee.  The confident demeanour she displays at work doesn’t extend to her love life.  In fact, she’s very insecure.  Becky sums it up best when she says “I don't know if a man is interested in me until I see him naked.”

You always know where a movie like this is heading but there’s still a lot to like about Morning Glory.  Rachel McAdams (The Notebook, Sherlock Holmes) proves that she can carry a romantic comedy.  Her talkative, bubbly personality will win the hearts of many in the audience.  She’s the best thing in the movie. 

We haven’t seen much of Harrison Ford in recent years but it’s nice to see him back on screen in a light-hearted role.  I’d love to know how easy it was for him to play this tired, forlorn character.  He certainly looks the part.  Perhaps that’s why Roger Michell (Notting Hill, Changing Lanes) decided to cast him.

I’m not from the television industry but I’ve been told the “behind the scenes” stuff on Daybreak is a close reflection of reality.  There are the early starts, the tension between anchors, the struggles to get big-name guests and difficulty in finding fresh, original stories.  Those who enjoy a dose of Sunrise or The Today Show here in Australia might find it eye-opening.  I enjoyed this part of the story more than Becky’s up-and-down relationship with Adam.

I’m hard to please when it comes to romantic but Morning Glory has a strong leading character and a fun premise.  That’s good enough for me.