Saturday, 18 June 2011

DVD Review: Morning Glory

Rating: 6/10 - Good
Morning Glory is billed as a comedy-drama. I can see the marketer’s problem. Yes there are some delightfully funny moments, but not enough for comedy. And yes there is some drama, but not enough weight to hold it down. At the outset of the film I thought it was a chick flick, but it isn’t entirely. On the other hand, I can’t imagine men really enjoying it, or would the sight of Ms McAdams in her underwear be enough to entice them?

Director: Roger Michell. Screenplay: Aline Brosh McKenna. Producer: J.J. Abrams and Bryan Burk. Executive Producers: Sherryl Clark and Guy Riedel. Cinematographer: Alwin H. Kuchler. Editors: Daniel Farrell, Nick Moore and Steven Weisberg. Music: David Arnold. Production Design: Mark Freidberg. Costume Design: Frank L. Fleming. Distributor: Paramount Pictures. Starring: Rachel McAdams, Harrison Ford, Diane Keaton, Patrick Wilson, Ty Burrell and Jeff Goldblum. Age Restriction: PG13. Running Time: 107 Minutes.

Morning Glory’s frenetic pace of the broadcast news studio was reminiscent of movies such as Broadcast News and Up Close and Personal. But as delightful as Rachel McAdams is, she’s no Holly Hunter or Michelle Pfeiffer. However that would almost seem an unfair comparison, as McAdams certainly does her best with the material given her. She plays Becky Fuller, a senior producer of Daybreak, a morning TV show that’s lagging in the ratings. She doesn’t stand a hope in hell, until she realises that the studio IBS (irritable bowel syndrome?) has heavyweight investigative journalist Mike Pomeroy (Harrison Ford) under contract. She gets him to team up as co-anchor to Colleen Peck (Diane Keaton), and the rest of the plot I’m sure you can fill in.

Perhaps if the writer had given Becky a little bit more? She’s portrayed as an ambitious workaholic. Nothing wrong with that. But we don’t get to see any other side of her. She has her girly moments with a bewildered looking Patrick Wilson, but they don’t reveal vulnerability so much as a lack of prioritisation in the work/life balance. There’s just not enough gravitas behind this young girl, when in fact she should be a young woman. If you’re the senior producer of a TV show, I doubt very much you spend your time tick-ticking away in high-heels, looking flustered on cell-phones calls whilst flicking your hair. Not any TV producers I’ve ever met. Again, comparisons are odious, but I can’t help thinking of Holly Hunter’s performance in Broadcast News. Now there was a young woman producer whose love life was a mess, but she knew her work, and it showed. Even Working Girl’s Melanie Griffith with “her head for business and body for sin” didn’t seem lightweight.

Where the writer’s failed Becky Fuller, she’s done wonders with the Harrison Ford character. He’s grouchy and arrogant, and has some of the best lines ‘bantering’ with Diane Keaton.

Despite its awkward categorisation, I enjoyed this film. I had the best belly laugh of the week with the unfortunate Ernie the weatherman escapades. I just wish someone had just upped the ante. Just a bit.

Verdict: Entertaining. Worth it for Harrison Ford.

Morning Glory is available now on DVD and Blu-ray.

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