Morning Glory * *

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Director: Roger Michell.
Screenplay: Aline Brosh McKenna.
Starring: Rachel McAdams, Harrison Ford, Diane Keaton, Jeff Goldblum, Patrick Wilson, Ty Burrell, Patti D’Arbanville, John Pankow, Matt Malloy, Bruce Altman.

The magic of movies is a powerful thing, but unfortunately it can’t eradicate our screen heroes from aging. I suppose in some cases that’s not always neccesary. Certainly not when it’s actually quite enjoyable seeing “Indiana Jones” & “Han Solo” be a grumpy, cantankerous old man.

Fired from her local TV news station, passionate producer Becky Fuller (Rachel McAdams) gets hired by failing breakfast show ‘Daybreak’ to turn around its fortunes. Her bright idea is to pair current host Colleen Peck (Diane Keaton) with veteran respected newsman Mike Pomeroy (Harrison Ford), an ex war correspondent who believes he’s above the daytime television drivel, refusing to play along and clearly only in it for the money.

Breakfast-time television is all light-hearted enthusiasm with very little content and in keeping with that, this film follows that particular mood very closely. But then what do you expect from “Notting Hill” director Roger Michell? He knows the formula and sticks to it. What maintains your interest here is mainly the performances. McAdams does well in her first lead role. She’s highly appealing, carrying the film with sursprising ease. Keaton retreads similiar work from her Woody Allen days but is unfortunately reduced to nothing more than mere support with an underwritten character, but still delivers. Similarly, Jeff Goldblum looks like pitching in a good turn but is sadly left on the sidelines. Ford though, is an egotistical, snarling treat and is a real joy to watch. His sparring with Keaton is a particular highlight, which again is sadly nowhere near enough. It’s because of McAdams and Ford that the film holds a marginal interest and it’s also fun to see the inner workings of morning television shows. I wonder though, if our American friends are aware that across the Atlantic, “morning glory” means something altogether more suggestive here. In fact, this film could have been doing with some more risque humour. It begins with some, about an anchor (Ty Burrell) with a penchant for feet and granny porn, but after that it sadly falls into it’s comfortable little inoffensive niche.

Light-hearted and refreshing but it’s nothing new. However, there’s no denying Ford’s star power and his ability to raise mediocre material up a notch. It’s worth it just to see him being an egotistical, selfish asshole.

Mark Walker

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