Morning Glory Roger Michell

Morning Glory Roger Michell
"From the director of Notting Hill and the writer of The Devil Wears Prada," wasn't what attracted me to this film, but the fact that Roger Michell directed Changing Lanes, elevating a humdrum script to one the best thrillers-with-a-brain in the past ten years. Of course, Morning Glory is not a thriller, but a genre film with the potential to be elevated by the direction of a smart filmmaker. Unfortunately, Mitchell fails in this task, delivering an adequate film only, meeting the expectations of the genre. This is not a traditional romantic comedy per se, but like The Devil Wears Prada, a "career comedy." Here, our hero, Becky Fuller (Rachel McAdams), is a young, ambitious career gal in the cutthroat "entertainment" business. In this case, morning television. You know: those saccharine morning shows that serve mostly to warn commuters of inclement weather and traffic jams. Yet behind the scenes, it's not so warm and cosy. When the unemployed Becky takes a job as the producer of the lowest rated morning show on the lowest ranked network, she finds herself up to her neck in complicated office politics, bloated egos and high stakes pressure from network execs. Becky's big gamble is hiring aging former news anchor Mike Pomeroy (Harrison Ford), now a drunken egomaniac with a superiority complex. Despite battling egos between Mike and co-anchor Colleen Peck (Diane Keaton), Becky manages to lift the show from the doldrums of the ratings basement, making her program respectable both to morning show purists and upper crust journalists, whom Pomeroy feels beholden to. The love sub-plot with colleague Patrick Wilson is relegated to b-story insignificance, as it's clear Mitchell and McKenna want to tell a story about a strong, young woman making it in the fast-paced world of television and in the glamorous city of Manhattan. There isn't much of a curtain to lift in this area, as films such as Network, Broadcast News and Tootsie have already done this 20-plus years prior. That said, Mitchell's fast-paced direction props up the predictable trajectory of the script higher than expected from a lesser filmmaker. Unfortunately, everyone is let down by the presence of Harrison Ford as Pomeroy. We all know Ford is well passed his expiry date as a leading man, and while he doesn't "lead" the show here, he's the main foil for Becky and is thus integral to the film's success. Ford's well-known public surliness aids somewhat in Pomeroy's characterization, but like most of everything Ford has done lately, there's no energy or life in the performance. It's phoned in via his star-time machine. Ford's former glory, intensity, rogue charm and comic affability are completely gone. Films like these live and die by casting, and while this film isn't dead, it's inert and unmemorable. The Blu-Ray features one deleted scene and some audio commentary from director Roger Michell and writer Aline Brosh McKenna. The most interesting anecdote being the day Harrison Ford showed up to the set dressed as Indiana Jones. (Paramount)