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A movie released on Nov. 12, 2010

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Some Mornings Are Better Than Others

  • Nov 12, 2010
It isn’t often you see a film in which every actor is painfully misdirected. Rachel McAdams performs most of “Morning Glory” as if she were a little girl on a bad sugar high, always with the anxious babbling and the perky expressions and the neurotic enthusiasm she brings to her situation, which is itself so horribly contrived that it doesn’t belong in a movie so much as it does on a sitcom. Harrison Ford, an accomplished actor if ever there was one, delivers every line like a growling dog ready to attack an intruder, his voice low and gravelly and unendurably monotone. Diane Keaton, also quite accomplished, plays her character as a cliché – laughing on the outside but screaming on the inside, crunching on pills as if they were candy. And then there’s Jeff Goldblum, although in his case, it doesn’t have much to do with direction; he can’t seem to be anyone other than himself, no matter what role he plays.
“Morning Glory” is an utterly ridiculous film. The plot is goofy and scatterbrained, relying almost entirely on throwaway gags and set-ups that wouldn’t even pass muster in a romantic comedy. The performances are desperately broad and show not the slightest traces of truth. It was written by Aline Brosh McKenna, the same woman who brought the far funnier and far more intelligent “The Devil Wears Prada” to the big screen. Having followed that with the awful “27 Dresses” and now this, I’d hate to think that her success with “Prada” was nothing more than a fluke.
The plot: McAdams plays Becky Fuller, a workaholic New Jersey TV news producer who dreams of landing a job over at “The Today Show.” After getting fired from a local news studio, she’s immediately hired as the executive producer for a failing New York morning news show called “Daybreak.” The boss, Jerry Barnes (Goldblum), interviews her with the kind of depressing certainty that one must apply to choosing a casket. Everything behind the scenes is chaos, the studio populated by annoying, insufferable caricatures that sling all sorts of meaningless ideas at her. On air, the show is a dispensable mishmash of cooking segments, animal acts, and celebrity gossip. Oh, and the occasional weather report, provided Ernie Appleby (Matt Malloy), a silly man who thinks rooster-shaped weather vanes are fascinating for some reason. Becky’s mission is to prevent the show from being cancelled.
The lead anchor, Colleen Peck (Keaton), seems to be on the verge of a nervous breakdown, a woman who has seen so many co-anchors and executive producers come and go, she has given up all hope. The latest co-anchor, a sleazy egomaniac with a foot fetish, is immediately fired; this leaves Becky able to pursue Mike Pomeroy (Ford), a man whose years of esteemed reporting is second only the dubious distinction of being the third worst person in the world. Indeed, he’s a broken, spiteful, difficult, miserable soul – angry at what passes for news nowadays, frustrated that he’s not wanted for in-depth investigative journalism but merely for morning banter. Unfortunately for him, he has time left on his contract. Becky not only knows this, but also uses it against him. And so, with extreme misgivings, he becomes the new co-anchor of “Daybreak.”
As Becky tries desperately to raise the show’s ratings, she begins a relationship with a fellow producer named Adam (Patrick Wilson), who finds Becky interesting but struggles to tear her away from her ever-ringing Blackberry. He’s the film’s only tolerable character, probably because he’s developed at a level beyond a series of bizarre quirks. Alas, it’s precisely because of this that he disappears into the background; all the weird characters take center stage, and while that might sound like a lot of fun, here it’s just plain exhausting. The relationship itself is nothing more or less than typical romcom material, something I can and do get my fill of year after year after year.
There was, in short, nothing much I liked about “Morning Glory.” Its biggest miscalculation is its cast – or, more accurately, how the cast is directed. Harrison Ford in particular is an embarrassingly odd fit, his voice rarely if ever rising above a grating one-note lull. When he finally is given the opportunity to show genuine emotion, it soon becomes clear that it’s in service of a scene of amazingly clunky sentimentalism. Watching it, one wonders if McKenna forgot that the film was intended to be a comedy. I also found nothing appealing about Rachel McAdams’ character, a young woman so peppy and bungling that it surpasses charmingly eccentric and becomes just plain annoying. If this movie were an actual morning news show, I’d recommend you either sleep through it or try another channel.

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November 13, 2010
after Skyline, I wish I could've have seen this one instead. Nice review.
November 13, 2010
I'm one of the few who thinks this movie is bad. Many critics, including Roger Ebert and Rex Reed, think it's great.
November 13, 2010
yeah, at least this one had Rachel McAdams, Skyline was a dreck.
November 12, 2010
Great review! I saw the trailer for this and thought it looked like an offensive rip-off of "The Devil Wears Prada." Guess I'll stay away from it.
November 13, 2010
I wouldn't say it's offensive. It just isn't funny.
More Morning Glory (2010) reviews
review by . May 20, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Morning Glory is a love story from the production world dedicated to the city of New York. It shows all of the things that those of us who eat, breath, and sleep production deal with every time we are on set. The things that make us "production", from the things that lift us up to the things that tear us down. Set in one of the production capitals of the world, Morning Glory tells story with a girls dream and desire to make it in the morning news world. For me, New York eventually …
review by . August 14, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
   Imagine the old Mary Tyler Moore television show with a glossy remake and you've got an idea of what to expect from Morning Glory. Rachel McAdams plays Becky, and this girl has grit and moxie and perk, and boy does that grate the cranky settled folks at a dying morning show. Through pure heart and the aforementioned moxie, things change...but for the good or the bad? That is the question. Family friendliness?  A couple iffy PG scenes, a few words (including one or two F Bombs), …
Quick Tip by . March 23, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Honestly, I wasn't expecting much when I rented this film and I didn't get much out of it either. It had strong potential to bring forth several themes of woman empowerment and how the internet and social networking had influenced the news media but it misses on everything. It instead goes into the stereotypical story of a woman whose career is her life and her interactions with the 'old guard' played by Harrison Ford. It is just downright predictable and the narrative falls flat …
review by . November 12, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
A Mild Morning
MORNING GLORY   Written by Aline Brosh McKenna   Directed by Roger Michell   Starring Rachel McAdams, Diane Keaton, Patrick Wilson and Harrison Ford       Mike Pomeroy: Half the people who watch your show lost the remote.  The other half is just waiting for their nurse to turn them over.       In MORNING GLORY, the darling Rachel McAdams plays Becky.  We all know Becky.  We don’t necessarily know …
Quick Tip by . March 02, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
I like it! It has enough comedy, drama and entertaining conversations. Good casting too!
review by . November 20, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
      0 Walking out of the new Rachel McAdams comedy “Morning Glory” with a frown on your face, saying you hated the film, is the journalistic equivalent of punching a puppy in the face. I’m not talking about a gentle shove or a thump between the eyes, I’m talking about a full-power punch right between the eyes. Now while that’s a blunt analogy, I feel like it’s a great description for how loveable this film really is. Backed by some solid …
Quick Tip by . November 19, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Morning Glory was predictable but still worth seeing. I tend to favor more unconventional stories with surprise endings but I also enjoy a no brainer like Morning Glory on occasion. Loved the cast ... it was a feel good easy to watch movie
About the reviewer
Chris Pandolfi ()
Ranked #5
Growing up a shy kid in a quiet suburb of Los Angeles, Chris Pandolfi knows all about the imagination. Pretend games were always the most fun for him, especially on the school playground; he and his … more
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Morning Glory is a 2010 American comedy-drama film directed by Roger Michell, produced by J.J. Abramsand written by Aline Brosh McKenna.[3] It stars Rachel McAdamsHarrison FordDiane KeatonPatrick Wilsonand Jeff Goldblum. After some delays, the film was released on November 10, 2010.
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