On the cusp of earning her dream job, Becky has to settle for false comfort from her former boss, and must face humiliation in front of her friends. Not to worry though, Becky’s friends are wearing t-shirts celebrating the promotion that she didn’t receive. Throwing a party when one has been terminated is never a tactful idea, even if by accident. Bewildered and crestfallen, yet not down and out, Becky retreats to her mother’s (Patty D’Arbanville) house to talk things over. Her mother stunningly condemns her career choice and trashes morning television in the hope of putting the kibosh on her daughter’s ill-fated career path. This actually works in Becky’s favor, as it motivates her to press on and to try even harder.
Finding a job in broadcasting proves a daunting and frustrating task, but one that is well-equipped to handle. Becky’s spirit is indomitable; she believes in herself and in her ability to succeed anywhere. After being hung up on and largely ignored (as a result of age discrimination), Becky receives a call from Jerry Barnes (Jeff Goldblum), the station manager in charge of “Daybreak,” the flailing cable morning show. Daybreak is on the verge of collapse, and the ratings are continually sinking. The staff members disagree on nearly everything, and they are given poor ideas for stories by a revolving door of executive producers. Becky, though underpaid and underappreciated, intends to turn everything around. To capture everyone’s attention and to make the biggest splash possible, Becky immediately fires the creepy and apathetic co-anchor, Paul McVee (Ty Burrell). Apparently, Paul’s ambitions reach far beyond broadcasting and stretch out into foot photography/pornography, as well as various other inappropriate fetishes. Good thing I am wearing socks! Once Paul is ousted, Becky is charged with replacing him for next to no money and in a micro-window of time. The executive producer’s job is on the line.
Also at the broadcast booth is Colleen Peck (Diane Keaton), a disgruntled and despondent, but infinitely malleable anchorette. Colleen’s personality is waiting to shine through for the audience, but she needs the perfect executive producer willing to take the risk of unleashing her personality. Becky’s other cohorts include a hilarious weatherman (Steve Park) who is put through death defying stunts for ratings (skydiving, rollercoasting, and weathervaning), Lenny Bergman (John Pankow), who is Becky’s right hand man, and eventually, the eminent evening news anchor, Mike Pomeroy (Harrison Ford), who joins the team. Finding herself short an anchor, and always having revered Pomeroy’s hard-hitting reporting, Becky decides to recruit him. Choosing a known quantity who is already working for the station and is on their payroll seems like the perfect choice; that is, until Becky discovers that Pomeroy is a miserable, jaded, selfish old bastard. She is only able to collect Pomeroy as Daybreak’s anchor by pulling out all of the legal/contractual clauses and going for broke.
While struggling to acclimate to New York, and working herself into oblivion at the morning show, Becky finds time for a warm, albeit troubled romance with fellow station producer Adam Bennett (Patrick Wilson), who works for a news magazine format show upstairs. Adam also believes Pomeroy is the “third worst person alive” (Adam has solid evidence to back up this claim). He understands Becky’s reason for being an obsessive workaholic and for being so devoted to her job that it’s all she seems to focus on day and night.
Once Pomeroy is forced to begrudgingly come aboard as co-anchor, he clashes with nearly everyone on the team. This puts Becky in an awkward position; not only does she have to baby, coo and coddle him, she comes under fire from her boss for rapidly declining ratings. The show is in danger of being canceled after being on the air for more than 40 years. This is like a natural disaster happening in Becky’s world. A lesser woman would give up and feel despondent, but Becky has ironclad resolve and decides to take the gloves off. This no-holds-barred approach to producing the morning show is what ignites the humor and adds to the heartfelt drama. It also catapults Becky into the position of being a rising superstar in the business.
The remainder of the film focuses on Pomeroy’s growth as a human being and on the topsy-turvy romance between Becky and her fellow handsome producer. It seems that Patrick Wilson has become the new flavor of the month for chick flicks; how long he will last before becoming a Matthew McConaughey or a Bradley Cooper is anyone’s guess. Wilson is charming and has a calming effect on screen, so perhaps he will have Hollywood staying power. Jeff Goldblum has found a clever niche for himself; he plays the hilariously aloof mentor unlike anyone else. Goldblum is so talented and seasoned that he comes across as hilarious and quirky, a perfect one-two punch for these sorts of films. Harrison Ford is perfect for the role of Pomeroy. Ford’s voice has a quality usually reserved for radio broadcasters; his voice is profound, entertaining and moving (similar to Dan Rather, Rush Limbaugh and Tom Brokaw). Pairing Ford in a bar scene with Bob Scheiffer and Chris Matthews lends credibility to his role. Diane Keaton always stuns me with her ability to razzle dazzle, despite being well beyond the prime of her career. Morning Glory is a good old-fashioned film designed to touch our hearts and warm our spirits. With Rachel McAdams and Harrison Ford surrounded by so many talented actors, it is literally too big to fail. Although Morning Glory is more for the 30 and over demographic, I offer it my most heartfelt salute. Watch without reservations (unless the theater requires them!).
Copyright © 2010 Screen Media, Inc. All rights reserved.
Certain product data © 2010-present Screen Media, Inc. For personal use only. All rights reserved.