Morning Glory is a light-hearted and fun tale for the casual filmgoer. The movie is a rags-to-riches tale of sorts of one woman’s efforts to rage against the machine of morning shows, while rekindling a career that never really took off and trying to save a show that should have been cancelled months ago. At times, the film tries too hard to dive down into the dark ages of romantic comedy past, but still finds its way out thanks to the acting talent. Rachel McAdams plays the bright-eyed TV producer Becky, who is just a little too plucky to be likable. Harrison Ford co-stars as grizzled veteran reporter Mike Pomeroy. Perhaps the biggest tragedy of Morning Glory, however, is the underuse of Diane Keaton. Although posters leading up to the premiere hinted at a trifecta of talent, Keaton is much more supporting than would be expected.
Morning Glory starts off with an exuberant Becky walking into her boss’s office to finally receive her promotion to producer of “Good Morning New Jersey.” Her supportive teammates are waiting outside to cheer her on. As with many stories today, Becky inevitably gets downsized. Her unsupportive mother belittles her career and ambitious dreams, but that doesn’t stop Becky from trudging on. The film wants you to be empathetic towards Becky’s plight, but it never works out that way. You get the feeling that she’s still young and everything will work out for her, rather than being sympathetic to a woman who is proverbially ‘at the end of her rope.’
Jerry Barnes (Jeff Goldblum) hires Becky on as the Executive Producer of “Daybreak,” a failing show on IBS (wocka wocka wocka), the fourth largest broadcast network. Goldblum once again rises out of secondary character dredges to get the film’s first sincere laughs, while subsequently stealing several scenes with his dry delivery and comedic sarcasm.
At “Daybreak,” Becky meets the show’s current star Colleen Peck (Keaton) and begins to shake things up in the ranks. Keaton is great in the few moments she has on camera, but sadly she’s used more to back up Harrison Ford. It’s almost like the producers didn’t realize the caliber of talent they had to work with in making the movie; then, when they finally signed Keaton, production didn’t try to bolster her on camera time. This is one of the few times you actually wish that production spoke up and told Director Roger Michell, “Hey, get Keaton some more game time.”
Ford does an excellent job playing the humorless and unlikable Pomeroy. He kind of blends the line of Han Solo (Star Wars) and Indiana Jones with his roles in Air Force One and The Fugitive. Pomeroy is not just a veteran reporter; he’s also taken bullets on the job and had lunch with the most prominent (sarcasm) of political figures.
Morning Glory does present a moderately likable movie, with a few laughs along the way. Unfortunately, there are a few too many romantic comedy elements sprinkled throughout the movie. The slow motion shots at the end of the film add unnecessary cheese factor and dampen the Morning Glory.