Monday, 24 January 2011

Cinema Review: Morning Glory

There's little left to desire when it comes to morning television. If you say otherwise, it's most probably due to your employment for a sub-standard show that fluctuates in value more often than the hosts' eagerness towards a segment featuring an array of pies. Alas, it's an unarguable fact that most morning shows are unsuccessful in their attempts to swoop up the big stories while, most importantly, keeping up the ratings with refreshing segments. This is what Rachel McAdams' character Becky Fuller, a hardworking television producer whose new job prospect of reigniting troubled morning show Daybreak's flame proves incredibly difficult with drab stories and squabbling co-hosts testing her patience.

Director Roger Michell has a keen eye for casting. Piecing together the fundamentals of Morning Glory with Mean Girls star McAdams with an obsessively grouchy, slurry-mouthed Harrison Ford and an enthusiastic Diane Keaton, he highlights throughout his clear knowledge of how to capture an intensely enjoyable chemistry between co-stars -- proven with his earlier films Notting Hill, Venus and Enduring Love, to name a few.

McAdams, a young but highly promising talent, could have lasted the entire duration picking at my very last nerve. A character that would have maintained a plausible annoyance throughout, yet as this is McAdams, such statements could never possibly be uttered. Working diligently with optimism and vigour, her character parallels herself alarmingly. As cute and adorable as she may be, it's all a bonus to a character that's already a joy to watch. On the other hand, Ford sadly stays tight to his previous role in dreary tearjerker Extraordinary Measures. While both characters are complete opposites -- finding a cure for cancer clearly wasn't on the mind of former evening-now daytime host Mike Pomeroy -- an obvious similarity can instantly be made due to their painfully long-lasting woeful attitudes. Still, while he remains fairly uninspiring, his relationship with McAdams is the true 'rom' of this romcom. An almost father-daughter companionship is formed between the two that's an admirable substitute for a cliched love story. Albeit there's one present, but it's so miniscule that it acts as a mere sub-plot with all intentions of not straying from the main story at hand.

Aline Brosh McKenna, the writer of firm favourite The Devil Wears Prada, plods out a film that treads familiar terrain, but enables a journey that feels almost refreshing to watch. McAdams' Fuller is a strongly written female lead that channels comedy and drama all in the one, with Ford and Keaton proving irresistably entertaining as the two consistently argumentative on-screen hosts. A hilariously ostentatious Ty Burrell and a sickly sweet Patrick Wilson are small elements that influence McKenna's sharp writing, with the main trio sparring and lashing quirky one-liners at one another.

It's inevitably contrived, but Morning Glory is nauseatingly well cast and superbly written. As always, McAdams delivers in all elements, with the chemistry between her co-stars proving the most rewarding. A delightfully feel-good, often laugh-out-loud 'romantic' comedy that showcases a bustling but exciting New York City with a lead you can truly root for.


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