If perkiness is an annoying attribute in a person, you well may be floored by Rachel McAdams’ ultra-enthusiastic TV producer character, Becky Fuller, from the start, and begin gnawing at the cinema seat in demented despair. But fear not; our Becky wins you over in the end because her bubblegum cheeriness turns to hardcore ball crunching in the corporate TV world, as the film progresses and she must learn to ‘grow up’ fast. And it’s utterly hilarious entertainment, a real giggle a minute.
For those who’ve had the dubious pleasure if working on breakfast TV (early starts, presenter paddies, lost feeds, uninspiring stories etc), Roger Michell’s Morning Glory is a nostalgic comic delight, and seriously true to form, where the battle of egos go hand in hand with the battle for the first cup of freshly-brewed morning coffee and pastries. It’s the detail that makes Aline Brosh McKenna’s script click right away – its genuine believability.
These larger-than-life egos DO exist on the morning TV sofas, and aren’t hammed up for the purposes of this film. McAdams as Becky has to drop the scared-little-lady act to cope with the acting prowess of Harrison Ford as pompous ex-news hound, Mike Pomeroy, and Diane Keaton as mature TV diva Collen Peck. The trio are brilliantly cast and play off each other like a dream team, as they rally together to pull the show out of the doldrums.
Indeed, another reason for this guaranteed howler that brings tears of joy to the eyes is the flagging morning show they all work on shares the same name as a certain faltering ITV programme in the TV ratings; it’s showbiz gold, to be gleefully honest. Perhaps, the British channel should hire Becky to help revive the struggling show? Just a thought…
This is one of McAdams’ strongest roles to date – the rest have had little impact on this particular critic, to be honest. It’s a sit-up-and-pay-attention part that draws out the actress’s bittersweet comedic range, even though Becky seems one-dimensional at the start and clichéd to the hilt. As Harrison and Keaton factor in, you are presented with character highs and lows, and numerous chances at redemption. It’s a faux family in the working, headed up by Jeff Goldblum as TV station executive Jerry Barnes in the hot seat, providing his usual witty banter, but delivering a surprisingly more serious side to this character than previous ones.
There is a romance because all work and no play would make Becky a very dull girl to watch, and naturally, she gets the best-looking man in the office. Patrick Wilson provides the intelligent man candy as TV colleague Adam. As the film’s male totty, he utters the odd poignant line to compliment Becky’s erratic nature and get the ladies swooning. It’s a necessary tranquilizer to Becky’s verbal barrage, too, as well as an attractive distraction for a second from the maniacal mayhem in the studio and behind-the-scenes farces.
It’s not quite Drop The Dead Donkey, but a clear runner in the box office ratings, and a sure-fire hit for those searching for a healthy belly laugh at the cinema right now. Bridget Jones rip-off scene aside, starring the beleaguered weatherman in the film, Morning Glory it is, glorious in wit and glorious in cast. Morning TV never got better.