Title: Morning Glory
Directed by: Roger Michell (Notting Hill, Venus)
Starring: Rachel McAdams (Sherlock Holmes, The Lucky Ones), Noah Bean (Nikita), Jeff Goldblum and Harrison Ford (Cowboys & Aliens)
While the on-air talents on many shows receive most of the public’s attention, as seen with Diane Keaton and Harrison Ford, who portray morning news co-hosts in the new comedy ‘Morning Glory,’ Rachel McAdams proves that behind-the-camera talent is just as important. Turning away from garnering attention in both her new role and in real life, McAdams proves in the new Roger Michell-directed film that anyone can achieve what they want by working hard and not going against their morals.
The comedy-drama follows Becky Fuller (played by McAdams), as she is fired from her job as a producer at an early local morning news program in New Jersey. Already 28, Becky is depressed that she hasn’t already achieved her life-long goal of becoming a producer for the ‘Today’ show, especially since her main focus in life is work. Despite not knowing anyone in New York City, Becky decides to accept a lower-paying position as a producer at ‘Daybreak,’ the lowest-ranking national morning news show.
Becky wants to prove to Jerry Barnes (portrayed by Jeff Goldblum) that he made the right decision in hiring her. In an effort to raise ‘Daybreak’s ratings, Becky hires legendary, award-winning broadcast journalist Mike Pomeroy (played by Ford) to co-anchor the show with Colleen Peak (portrayed by Keaton). While Adam Bennett (portrayed by Patrick Wilson), a fellow producer who previously worked with Mike at an evening news show and is romantically interested in Becky, warns her about Mike’s attitude, she has faith he can help revitalize the struggling program.
‘Morning Glory’ definitely seemed as though it would feature an equal mix of Becky’s professional and personal struggles, and would leave viewers rooting for her to overcome her obstacles. The script was written by Aline Brosh McKenna, who previously wrote such hits as ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ and ‘27 Dresses.’ The movie was also produced by J.J. Abrams and his released by his production company, Bad Robot. McKenna lived up to her previous works to some degree by giving Becky numerous work challenges. However, the movie as a whole leaves audiences unsatisfied, as they don’t see her balance her personal issues with her work obligations. While Becky’s lack of social life in part motivates her to do well at ‘Daybreak,’ McKenna should have included more scenes between her and Adam. A major theme in the movie was Becky discovering her inner strengths, so her finding a way to balance her work and her new-found private life would have definitely added to her character development.
While it was never fully revealed why Becky aimed to become a producer all her life, and McAdams didn’t have much character development to work with, the ‘Sherlock Holmes’ actress was the true star of the film. Advertisements for ‘Morning Glory’ emphasized that Ford and Keaton were the supporting stars in the movie, but McAdams easily grabbed the attention for herself. While she garnered praise in other genres besides comedy, including action in ‘Red Eye’ and suspense in ‘State of Play,’ McAdams masterfully connects to her characters emotionally in romance comedies. She understood Becky’s need to reach the top of her chosen profession, and would do anything to succeed.
While none of the characters were fully developed in ‘Morning Glory,’ and it was just another one of McKenna’s exposes of the life of the working woman, it still deserves attention by McAdams’ fans. Rated PG-13 for some sexual content including dialogue, language and brief drug references, the movie is appropriate for her younger fans who want to see what it’s like to work in broadcast journalism. While it won’t receive glory for being McAdams’ best work, the film further solidifies her place in Hollywood.
Written by: Karen Benardello