Morning Glory

in Comedy, Not-A-Dick Flicks

Not-A-Dick Flick Pick

  • Stars: Rachel McAdams, Harrison Ford
  • Director: Roger Michell
  • Writer: Aline Brosh McKenna

First of all, a film I’d never heard of with Harrison Ford, Diane Keaton, and Jeff Goldblum?  WTF.  I’m hardly a morning person, much less a morning talk show aficionado, but I figured “Morning Glory” was worth a couple of hours.  Screenwriter Aline Brosh McKenna handed us not one, but two Strong Female Leads and not one, but two token males with “The Devil Wears Prada.”  And, after all, Ms. McKenna is a girl.  I’ve watched films for shallower reasons.

Ten minutes in, and the similarities to McKenna’s more famous film are flourishing already:  a feisty, adorable young woman, career-driven but a bit clueless when it comes to love, fighting her way up the ladder in a cutthroat industry.  Throw in the bitter growling hard-ass boss, and it’s “The Devil Wears Prada” all over again.  But surprise, surprise:  I liked this one better.  A lot better.

Becky Fuller (Rachel McAdams) is a morning television producer.  She heads to the office while it’s still dark, schedules dates during senior hour at Luby’s, toils away later than the rest of her staff put together, and by all rights is the next in line for Head Honcho at her neighborhood rise-and-shine show.  That is, until she gets sacked at the whim of the all-powerful studio execs who want to bring in someone with a proven track record.

Cue an adorable explosion of epithets and a string of desperate calls and interviews, and suddenly Becky’s helming a major network morning show that’s circling the drain.  Determined to prove herself and save the doomed show, Becky throws everything she’s got at a skeptical staff, co-anchors who despise each other (Diane Keaton and Ty Burrell), and a potential ace-in-the-hole (Harrison Ford).

Rachel McAdams is terrific.  She could be me, or any one of my female friends.  Her random physical spasmodic bursts in the midst of a professional atmosphere – dead-on.  And ***SPOILER ALERT*** when she stands down a pompous bigwig on her very first day, she goes from adorable to formidable in a heartbeat.  McAdams’ dainty-looking heroine is what sets “Morning Glory” spectacularly apart from “The Devil Wears Prada” – this girl already knows her job, and she knows it damn well.

Perhaps the best-kept secret in the movie is Harrison Ford in a gloriously delectable role as the high-and-mighty Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist whose excess gravitas could very well take down the entire morning show circuit.  Indy and Han Solo this is not.  Ford summons Jack Palance at his growliest.  Even the word “fluffy” is terrifying.

Keaton nails the bitter co-anchor persona, and it’s hilarious to see an actress of her caliber playing such a petty, um… witch.  (Yeah, “dick” is fair game, but we won’t touch that other word.  Deal with it.)  John Pankow turns in a solid and sly performance as Becky’s second-in-command, while Jeff Goldblum, though unsurprising, is amusing nonetheless as the higher-up who hires Becky.

“Morning Glory” doesn’t quite match the record set by “The Devil Wears Prada” for dual Strong Female Leads, but we’ll take the one we get.  Becky’s cute, sharp, flighty, sexy, sensitive, and commanding all at once, and she’s allowed to kick ass with no holds barred.  And as a bonus for DickFlicks’ purposes, “Morning Glory” throws in the utterly scrumptious and almost completely expendable Patrick Wilson as the token male love interest.  (We look forward to enjoying you in more significant roles, Mr. Wilson.)

This ain’t no chick flick.  It’s an engaging workplace tale of a young careerperson trying to make a name for her- (or him-) self, and gender doesn’t really enter into it.  McAdams alone is reason enough to watch this movie, and she’s got plenty to offer the boys as well.  Besides, any true Star Wars fanatic has got to see Han Solo gone bad.  And with a standout cast and standout writing, “Morning Glory” is definitely a (forgive the hideous term) must-see.

Share this page with your friends!

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: