out of Five
Running time: 102
Enjoyably fluffy, frequently amusing comedy with a superb supporting cast and a terrific lead performance from Rachel McAdams.
What's it all about?
Directed by Roger Michell, Morning Glory stars Rachel McAdams as ambitious TV producer Becky Fuller who's fired from her job at a local station and winds up as the producer of disastrously rated breakfast show Daybreak (stop sniggering at the back there) on the IBS (geddit?) network. Charged with improving Daybreak's ratings by her new boss (Jeff Goldblum), Becky immediately sacks the sleazy co-presenter (Ty Burrell as Paul) and decides to hire veteran reporter Mike Pomeroy (Harrison Ford) to co-host the show with daytime diva Colleen Peck (Diane Keaton).
Unfortunately, things don't quite go as planned and Becky ends up coercing Mike into the job against his will by enforcing a clause in his contract. However, Mike's refusal to play ball onscreen causes the viewing figures to fall even further, so with the show facing imminent cancellation, Becky resorts to desperate measures to improve the ratings.
Morning Glory is, primarily, a star vehicle for Rachel McAdams and she duly delivers a delightful performance that is utterly charming from start to finish. What's refreshing is that although Becky is endearingly rubbish in her private life (her love life is something of a disaster area), she's shown to be an excellent producer and there's a lot of enjoyment to be had from seeing her do her job well. The script also does a good job of capturing the actual day-to-day workings of a breakfast TV show.
Ford is equally good as the grizzled news veteran and he generates an appealing chemistry with McAdams – indeed, their (entirely professional) relationship forms the emotional heart of the film. There's also strong support from Keaton (who's actually slightly under-used), Patrick Wilson (as a fellow producer who falls for McAdams) and Matt Malloy (as a comically vain weather reporter), as well as a typically scene-stealing turn from Jeff Goldblum, who nabs all the best lines.
The only odd note in the film is that it comes down firmly on the side of dumbing down TV in the pursuit of ratings, which seems strange, given that American news shows are already notoriously vacuous.
Morning Glory may not be up there with the likes of Network and Broadcast News, but it's frequently funny and consistently enjoyable, thanks to a winning star turn from Rachel McAdams. Recommended.