By Matt Brunson
DIRECTED BY Roger Michell
STARS Rachel McAdams, Harrison Ford
Morning Glory is basically Working Girl for dummies. (Or Broadcast News for dummies; take your pick.) But even dummies need movies and better ones than genuine rotgut like Due Date or The Bounty Hunter and this comedy has enough charm, poise and class to satisfy viewers of all IQs looking for something lighthearted as we head into the festive holiday season.
The movie's success begins and ends with Rachel McAdams, an underrated (and underused) actress who's perpetually poised for greater things. Here, she plays Becky, a TV news producer who's just been tasked with saving a cellar-dweller morning show called Daybreak. In an effort to goose the ratings, she decides that the perfect on-air companion for Daybreak mainstay Colleen Peck (Diane Keaton) would be former news giant (and Pulitzer Prize winner) Mike Pomeroy (Harrison Ford). Mike's contract with the network forces him to accept the assignment, but he's hardly pleased, as a man who once wiped the sweat off the brow of an ailing Mother Teresa (among many other anecdotal achievements) finds it beneath him to appear on a show revolving around mind-numbing nuggets of infotainment.
Aside from one belated Indiana Jones adventure, Ford's been squandering his talents in dismal efforts for well over a decade now, so it's a treat to watch him deliver an amusing and robust performance as an insufferable curmudgeon in a film that's actually entertaining. He's well-matched by Keaton, even if the movie fails to fully capitalize on the antagonism between their characters. In fact, after a first half packed with sharp dialogue, nicely developing characters and even a sweet burgeoning romance (between Becky and a fellow producer played by Patrick Wilson), the picture largely coasts through its second half, as the increasingly busy plot mechanics drain away some of the fun. But Rachel McAdams remains engaging throughout, a young actress showcased in all her comedic glory.