Wednesday, November 17, 2010
I couldn't wait to see MORNING GLORY which promised a charming cast in a sweetly comic plot-- or so I thought. There's Rachel McAdams as the sprightly young morning TV show producer chock full of earnestness who has been hired to breathe life into a dead dog of a morning newscast. The warring anchors are a prima donna (Diane Keaton), and a really "hard" newsman (Harrison Ford) who's out of work but nonetheless looks down his long row of Peabody Awards in disgust at the shallow depths in which morning news regularly wallows. In one awkward cameo appearance by Morley Safer, Bob Schieffer,and Chris Matthews, it's clear he only lunches with the big guys. And now I'm starting to get the picture: we're supposed to think he's the BAD guy, turning up his nose at cooking demonstrations and cute little animal segments, while our GOOD girl producer is simply trying to get him to lower his standards and loosen up for goodness sake. The climactic moment comes when he, to win her over, spontaneously makes a fritatta on live TV. I had a tear in my eye.
I think I'm going to be sick. Remember BROADCAST NEWS when the roles were reversed and we were cheering for Holly Hunter as the spunky executive producer, holding the line against the encroaching blandishments of infotainment in the form of a pretty boy anchorman (William Hurt)? At least we knew what and whom to root for, even if it was hard. Those characters were complicated.
Here Harrison Ford's overacting makes him and all those silly journalistic principles he represents--seriousness, relevance-- seem stodgy and inhuman, as though only a bloated egotist could have such standards. The film throws him a bone at the end in the form of a breaking news story that he sniffs out--when and how we never know-- so I wasn't buying it. And how are we supposed to root for a heroine who repeatedly insists that her anchorman comport himself like an idiot on camera? And she never recognizes the importance of the news story he breaks until after it gets headlines, and then, only because it's good for the ratings.
And what of the glorious Diane Keaton? She's left howling and ranting and preening. What a waste. And McAdams' love interest, the attractive Patrick Wilson? He's merely a prop for her to run from, usually in her underwear.
MORNING GLORY is a clueless ode to fallen standards everywhere; there is no glory, and it left me in mourning.
Posted by Joyce Kulhawik at 9:24 PM