Although Morning Glory features several huge names on its poster, it never inspires or moves as it might have, at least partially due to the bizarre way in which Harrison Ford has chosen (or been directed) to play his character.
When Becky Fuller (Rachel McAdams) is fired from her job as a producer on a local morning talk show, she pesters and cajoles until she is improbably employed as the Executive Producer on a network morning show in New York City. The hosts are disinterested and the crew uninspired, but her can-do attitude just might be what is needed to shake things up.
It has felt like a long time between drinks for fans of the wonderful Rachel McAdams, although after appearing in three films (Sherlock Holmes, State of Play and The Time Traveler’s Wife) released in 2009 one can’t blame her for having a quieter year in 2010. Nonetheless, it is great to be reminded of her talent, and she is the only thing that keeps Morning Glory from being completely dull. Her Becky is naïve – frequently annoyingly so – and yet she manages to maintain our interest in a story that is actually fairly shallow.
In an unfortunate twist on the structure of the classical romantic comedy, however, her love interest in this flick is in fact her job. It is this relationship that can be mapped out against the usual ‘girl meets boy’, ‘girl might lose boy’, ‘girl regains boy’, ‘everyone lives happily ever after’ structural archetype, and this is the other reason that Morning Glory doesn’t quite work. It is much harder for an audience to be rooting for their heroine to keep her job as opposed to win the guy of her dreams, and the chance that we will be moved by such a story is far slimmer.
Standing in mostly as distraction (from the fact the audience is witnessing a love story between a woman and her new job) are Ford as grizzled news journalist Mike Pomeroy and Patrick Wilson as fellow producer Adam Bennett. Ford plays Pomeroy absurdly gruff, and consequently the inevitable moment in which he and Becky find common ground is far less believable. Wilson is adequate in a supporting role of little substance. Jeff Goldblum and Diane Keaton also appear, although neither in a role significant enough to show any respect to their talent or bodies of work.
The soundtrack is catchy enough, and the film’s design is first rate: technically, Morning Glory bears all the trademarks of a big Hollywood production. Although the obvious talent on display may serve as a diversion, it is hard to see many viewers watching Morning Glory again and again in the way that the classic romcoms have inspired loyalty and devotion over the years. Disappointing.Rating: