Andy Bockelman: ‘Morning Glory’: Not the best part of waking up | CraigDailyPress.com
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Andy Bockelman: ‘Morning Glory’: Not the best part of waking up

Andy Bockelman is a member of the Denver Film Critics Society, and his movie reviews appear in Explore Steamboat and the Craig Daily Press.
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Movie at a glance

“Morning Glory”

2 out of 4 stars

107 minutes

Starring: Rachel McAdams, Harrison Ford, Diane Keaton and Patrick Wilson.

Movie at a glance

“Morning Glory”

2 out of 4 stars

107 minutes



Starring: Rachel McAdams, Harrison Ford, Diane Keaton and Patrick Wilson.

Films like “Broadcast News” and “Network” have shown audiences just what goes into the thought process of television production and give a clear picture of where the medium is headed, for better or worse.



While “Morning Glory” has the same intent, the screen is much more static-filled.

When you’re married to your job, getting laid off is even worse than divorce.

Such is the case for TV producer Becky Fuller (Rachel McAdams), who’s just had a whammy put on her career, losing her job working for an early morning program in New Jersey.

But, when a door closes, a window opens, and Becky may just have the opportunity at making her mark in the Big Apple. Accepting a job with the struggling national morning show “DayBreak,” she quickly makes changes, including firing one of the hosts (Ty Burrell) and replacing him with her idol, former anchorman Mike Pomeroy (Harrison Ford).

The shift in staff doesn’t sit well with the other host, Colleen Peck (Diane Keaton), but even less enthusiastic is Mike, who remains under network contract while being banned from sitting at a real news desk. The serious-minded former anchor refuses to get into the spirit of daytime television, putting a major crimp in Becky’s plans to shake things up for the show.

Facing threats of cancellation, Becky finds herself having to do everything she can to keep “DayBreak” from seeing its last sunrise, even if it means sacrificing everything else in her life, including a fledgling relationship with a fellow producer (Patrick Wilson).

McAdams is endearing as the plucky and resourceful young career woman who won’t take no for an answer in her quest to make the best show possible morning after morning.

Although her ultimate dream — working on “The Today Show” — is somewhat disheartening, when the audience realizes that her biggest goals have to do with perpetuating insipid content for people who are in between breakfast and rush hour traffic.

Such is the attitude of Ford as Mike, a high-minded and high-falutin’ journalist if ever there was one. But, what should be a fun role for a well-seasoned actor just never makes the mark, as Ford lacks any semblance of comic timing and altogether seems as disinterested in his character as Pomeroy does in doing cooking segments and reporting on baby Easter chicks.

And, the drawers worth of multicolored socks he wears every day are just overkill for giving him a sense of eccentricity.

Keaton is a little more tolerable as Colleen, a one-time Miss Arizona who has outlasted everybody who has ever been involved with the show, partly by being a complete diva and having plenty of bottles of little helpers around her dressing room, as well as having a drive to talk anything that isn’t hard news, making Kelly Ripa look like Diane Sawyer.

The show and network staff — centered in fictitious broadcasting company IBS —all have their little quirks, including Burrell as Mike’s predecessor, a foot fetishist and a total hack, even for a show that’s last in the ratings; Matt Malloy as the show’s dull weatherman, desperate for any attention, even if it means skydiving and getting tattooed live on the air; John Pankow as Becky’s more experienced colleague; Lenny, who’s given up caring about his job; and Jeff Goldblum as her boss, Jerry, who does the weirdest thing of all — hiring a competent and enthusiastic new employee.

There’s no missing all the little jibes about the job market, although Becky seems to find a new and better post just a little too easily.

The nation’s economic crisis can also be glimpsed in the bottom-of-the-barrel budget and waning respect garnered by the “DayBreak” crew, who can’t even afford working doorknobs for their offices.

Screenwriter Aline Brosh McKenna clearly wants to strike a chord for people overworked in a job for which they’re overqualified, all the while answering to superiors who are petty and snide.

But, unlike her excellent adaptation of “The Devil Wears Prada,” McKenna’s script lacks a heroine who’s all that sympathetic.

Becky may be the more likable one, but Mike is the actual hero here, with a dedication to sticking to real world issues rather than the mindless pabulum that usually makes up morning TV.

While there should be a happy medium between fluff and hard news, it feels wrong to hope that the two of them can strike a deal and compromise.

The problem with “Morning Glory” is that it lacks a necessary tone of self-awareness, happily blurring the line between entertainment and news all the more, with a pace that’s far too slow, a story that’s repetitive and a sense of humor that constantly pulls punches.

And, as one famous newsman said, that’s the way it is.


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