Fluffy is the word Harrison Ford’s character refuses to say in Morning Glory, and it is the word I would use to describe the movie. It’s fluffy fun – kind of like the second hour of a network morning show – and there’s nothing wrong with that. And just like the second hour of a network morning show, you’re not missing anything if you don’t go see it.
Rachel McAdams is endearing and adorable as Becky Fuller, an ambitious young television producer who gets laid off from her thankless job at a local news show in New Jersey and lands a job as the Executive producer of “Daybreak” a morning show at the IBS network in New York. Harrison Ford takes a curmudgeonly turn as serious newsman/legendary reporter Mike Pomeroy, who’s forced to co-anchor Daybreak if he wants to continue to get paid his star salary and Diane Keaton is completely under-utilized as Colleen Peck, the up-for-anything Daybreak co-host. Becky’s mission: get the ratings up on Daybreak, which is perpetually in fourth place behind the Today Show, Good Morning America and “that thing on CBS, whatever it’s called,” or the show gets cancelled.
As someone who’s worked in morning TV, I can tell you they got some things exactly right – the sleep deprivation, the unbridled ambition of some people in the morning show game, the snobbery of some journalists with a capital “J” who don’t think morning shows do “real news.” But some stuff did not ring true – like pulling up to a live shot location and being ready to go on the air within minutes without establishing the satellite signal and no cables to be seen anywhere (and as someone who has lived in New York City and looked for apartments there, I won’t even talk about the fact that she supposedly found an apartment in just one day, in the classified ads). But if you’re not in the TV business you probably won’t care about that, or notice for that matter.
Of course, this being a “rom-com” of sorts, Becky couldn’t just be a working woman trying to make it in the world, she has to have a love interest as well. Her boyfriend Adam, played by the not-hard-to-look-at Patrick Wilson, is supportive of Becky and her ambition. But, because she is a working woman (and because this is a studio film) her career must interfere with her budding relationship, it simply must. Otherwise where are the stakes? Becky has to be juggling it all – the job, the man, and oh did I mention the disappointed mother who just wants her to give it up already and forget this TV thing? It’s all very contrived.
Still, there are a few chuckles along the way, and Rachel McAdams is charming. If you are in the mood for some mindless fluff go see it, but you can certainly wait for DVD or pay-per-view. If you want to see a really good movie about the world of television news, rent Broadcast News or Network.