Tuesday, November 9, 2010

'Morning Glory' tries for comic sunshine

Harrison Ford gives a grumpy, one-note performance. Rachel McAdams works hard at looking like a TV producer who's working hard, and Patrick Wilson finds himself in a badly undernourished romance. All of these statements help define Morning Glory, a mild comedy about television that lacks either the character development or satirical bite of Broadcast News, a 23-year-old movie that touched on many of the same issues. * As Morning Glory unfolds, it becomes clear -- at least it did to me -- that the comedy has been misconceived. * Diane Keaton is a comic standout as an egotistical co-anchor of a once-prominent morning television show on an all-news cable station. Had the movie revolved around Keaton and McAdams, as a young executive producer who's hired to boost the show's dreadful ratings, it might have been a true delight. * But Morning Glory opts to focus on the troubled relationship between McAdams and Ford, who plays a once formidable TV newsman who has been shelved in an era when the line between news and entertainment has blurred. * Thanks to a mildly convincing plot contrivance, Ford's Mike Pomeroy is assigned to co-anchor Daybreak, a show he views with the kind of contempt one might reserve for ... well ... a crappy morning TV show. * Director Roger Michell finds a few laughs here -- most centered on broad comedy involving the show's weatherman, and Jeff Goldblum scores as the network's acerbic top dog, but the movie can't overcome a script that seems unclear about what it's after. Satire? Romance? Laughs? Social commentary? Whatever the movie's searching for, it doesn't find enough of it to lift Morning Glory into the upper echelon of fall releases.

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