Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Quick Look: MORNING GLORY

Morning Glory is such a gentle, middling workplace comedy that it started to disappear from my memory even before it was over. If it weren’t for the lovely Rachel McAdams, the film would be even more forgettable than it already is. She plays an ambitious, energetic workaholic who lands a job producing a network’s low-rated morning show. She’s immediately overwhelmed, but confidently handles all the problems involved with balancing a tough boss (Jeff Goldblum), a flirty colleague (Patrick Wilson), and two difficult hosts (Diane Keaton and Ty Burrell). The film is light and fluffy as it evaporates. Director Roger Michell works from a screenplay by Aline Brosh McKenna, who is content to do little more than cannibalize her own far superior script for The Devil Wears Prada while making a softheaded version of James L. Brooks’s Broadcast News. Morning Glory runs through standard comedy and romance tropes with minimal energy and it carries a bad aftertaste. Most of the movie is given over to McAdams’s attempts to raise the profile of her show by convincing a veteran newsman (a serious, scowling Harrison Ford) to join the staff as a new anchor. It’s a real he says she says. He says that he doesn’t want to participate in dumbing down the news. She says loosen up. When it ends, literally walking off into the sunset, the movie hasn’t resolved the central conflict, ignoring the very battle for the soul of the modern news media that it introduces. If the movie weren’t so blandly competent and entirely inoffensive in every other way, I’d be much more inclined to hate it.

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