As every good morning news show producer knows, broadcast television is one of the most stressful but rewarding jobs, which is precisely why “Morning Glory” is so fun to watch.
For Becky Fuller (Rachel McAdams), getting hired as an executive producer to work with her favorite anchor Mike Pomeroy (Harrison Ford) is a dream come true. But as the young producer soon learns, to boost the ratings of the fictional network IBS morning show “Daybreak,” Fuller must not only arrange attention-catching segments but also tame some of the most egotistical personalities in television: anchors Colleen Peck (Diane Keaton) and Pomeroy.
McAdams does a good job playing a frazzled, enthusiastic workaholic who finds herself always glancing at the news competition from the other major broadcasting networks in her free time, rambling and using hand gestures as a form of communication. She delivers a strong performance by becoming the thread that ties all the characters’ narratives together.
Her perky personality perfectly compliments Ford’s stubborn and cranky demeanor as the washed-up news reporter and anchor that was fired from his previous job on an evening show and demoted to a morning show host. In one touching scene, the two banter back and forth as Ford shares secrets that shaped his personality.
Aline Brosh McKenna’s screenplay is similar to her previous work, such as “The Devil Wears Prada.” If McAdams plays the young protagonist that pulls herself up by her own bootstraps, Keaton and Ford share the role of the “devil dressed in Prada.” These powerful personalities wearing dress shirts and business suits refuse to follow McAdams’ orders, and they make her life a living hell. Keaton and Ford’s bickering is amusing, as each anchor tries to get in the last word before closing the show.
However, McKenna’s trite plotline does not make “Morning Glory” any less enjoyable to watch. Perhaps Ford does not compare to Meryl Streep’s performance in “The Devil Wears Prada,” but he does deliver an honorable scowl and reads the prompter while ardently chewing out fluffy story ideas in favor of maintaining his lost pride and dignity.
Roger Michell also does a decent job as the film’s director, and cinematic elements of the film add to the story. In one such sequence in which everyone is bombarding McAdams’ character with questions, there is a real sense of the pressures on an executive producer. The shooting of the scene with subjective camera angles puts viewers at the center of McAdams’ position of authority as co-workers raise an endless stream of issues.
“Morning Glory” also provides a beautiful panoramic view of New York City. The busy city environment adds another dimension to the film and reflects the competitive nature of the television industry.
While “Morning Glory” may be an enjoyable comedy about making it as a producer in the television industry, the film also holds a few truths that aspiring media-makers can live by: the industry is hard — McAdams’ character is found frequently banging her head against the wall— but in the end, perseverance pays off.
“Morning Glory” was written by Aline Brosh McKenna and directed by Roger Michell.