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MORNING GLORY
Reviewed by: JoAnne Hyde
November 12, 2010, 2010

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Morning Glory is being marketed as another The Devil Wears Prada, but it is not. Both films have a newcomer who eventually makes it in the big-time, but the resemblance ends there. Morning Glory lacks the consistency of Prada, and it doesn’t have Meryl Streep and Stanley Tucci. It takes just a little too long to get going even though it becomes much better during the last 30 minutes or so of the film.

Rachel McAdams plays Becky, an early-morning show producer at an obscure New Jersey station. She describes herself as a “bungler” and a “rambler”, which unfortunately is accurate. Rather than being endearing, the character comes off as annoying. After being let go at the beginning of the film, she finally lands a job as executive producer for a low-rated morning show at a fictional network, IBS. She receives no encouragement from anyone, including her mother (Patti D’Arbanville) and the head of her new network, Jerry (Jeff Goldblum). Of course, since she is “spunky”, she looks at all this criticism as motivation. Goldblum has some nice moments, and the film could have used more of him. Patrick Wilson, as her love interest Adam, is largely wasted, and the two have tepid chemistry at best. Her “mentor” at the new job is Lenny Bergman, portrayed by John Pankow, but their relationship seems to come out of nowhere. And that is one of the chief problems with this film. There’s just not enough character development for the audience to relate to the various relationships formed in the story line.

The story picks up when the veteran morning anchor of Day Break, the failing show, Coleen Peck (Diane Keaton) is paired with an award-winning but disgraced newscaster, Mike Pomeroy (Harrison Ford). Pomeroy feels the gig is beneath him, and when his character is finally allowed to “banter” with Colleen, the film gathers steam and finally becomes engaging. More screen time for these two would have vastly improved the film. There are some nice turns for the station’s weather guy, Ernie (Matt Malloy), when he’s sent out into the field to build ratings by being assigned to do the weather during extreme pastimes, such as sky-diving. J. Elaine Marcos as Lisa, the boss’s dumb-as-dirt paramour, does a good job in her brief moments on screen.

There are some truly funny scenes in the film, along with some poignant ones involving Harrison Ford’s character, but over-all, the film drags, and I kept wishing for more Ford-Keaton scenes. Rachel McAdams is an accomplished actress, but the scattered, frenetic personality of her character just didn’t come off as appealing. The preview audience generally responded well to the film, but as far as “feel-good”, romantic comedies go, the film is just average.

GRADE: C

JoAnne Hyde Likes films.
She likes to write.
So she combines those two loves by reviewing films for BOF

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