Published Oct 16, 2008If someone were to take all of the conflict, competition and variation away from The Amazing Race and made a conscious effort to find an inarticulate and homogeneous cast of characters with very little life experience to draw on for emotional complexity, they might have Morning Light. A film that is essentially a feature-length reality television special that outstays its welcome and serves very little purpose, it is entirely well intentioned and should prove heart-warming to the wilfully ignorant but desperately clings to a message of "its all about the journey, which truthfully gets lost in the shuffle.
The "documentary follows 15 bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, Disney approved, privileged tots selected to participate in the Transpac, a daunting sailing race that starts in California and ends in Hawaii. Everything from the selection process to the training to the arduous race is covered in the film, brought together via extremely similar personalities who learn the value of teamwork and reaching for that rainbow.
The biggest struggles on display throughout the glorified Outdoor Network special seem to be that of craving food thats not on the boat and suffering from occasional seasickness. One can only imagine that there were many more frays and conflicts on the boat but for the sake of a psychotically cheerful narrative, thats all cut out.
While the yearlong experience of training and conducting the race might be life changing for an 18-year-old thats led a very sheltered and comfortable existence, the experience of watching it is far less inspirational.
In fact, limited insights on sailing, in addition to an abrasive and generic alterna-crap soundtrack that sounds like a cross between Jimmy Eat World and Hanson, only exacerbate a film that seems like it would only be enjoyed by rich, white Christians who still mourn the day Joan of Arcadia was cancelled. (Buena Vista)