Friday, November 19, 2010

"Morning Glory" gets by with great cast


Morning Glory (2010)
102 min., rated PG-13.
Grade: B -

The promos remind us that "Morning Glory" is from the screenwriter of "The Devil Wears Prada" (Aline Brosh McKenna), but it also reminds us, though doesn't quite live up to the leads, of "Broadcast News" and "Working Girl." And unfortunately, it has nothing to do with the Oasis song. 

After being downsized out of a job on Good Morning, New Jersey, go-getting, overeager, slightly neurotic 28-year-old Becky Fuller (Rachel McAdams) gets hired as the new producer for a Today Show-like morning TV program called Daybreak. The show is in fourth place on the IBS Network. She has to work with her lead anchor, a prima donna (Diane Keaton), and a new host, the once-respected Mike Pomeroy (Harrison Ford), and although it's hard keeping Pomeroy on the ball, Becky becomes very persistent in trying to boost ratings. It's pretty obvious that a romance develops for Becky, single and not committed to a relationship, with a dreamboat (Patrick Wilson), but who could blame the chick? 

McAdams is a joy to watch in a sunny, caffeinated performance with enough can-do spunk but she never exhausts us like Katherine Heigl would. Ford gives one of his most entertaining turns in a while as the peevish, perpetually soused Pomeroy (though not exactly the most energetic voice for TV news with his monotone grumbling). As former Miss Arizona Colleen Peck, Keaton is funnier here than she's been in years and always game. Ty Burrell, hilarious in TV's Modern Family, has an early bit role as a smarmy ex-anchor and Jeff Goldblum is underused as Becky's boss. 

"Morning Glory" could've used more of the off-camera bitter banter between Colleen and Mike, and less of the go-nowhere McAdams-Wilson romance, but for once, it does get the network news culture right and the people seem real or only slightly exaggerated. This likable, tartly written comedy gets all of its good will from such an excellent cast. "Morning Glory" may end all too patly, but at least it's more about a platonic friendship than the guy getting the girl. 

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