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Morning Glory

Morning Glory

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3.5 out of 5

MORNING Glory has some tasty ingredients: a top drawer cast, a shrewd director and a keen mix of romantic comedy and savvy drama.

Crucially, it’s also a shameless crowdpleaser and one that entertains in a steadfastly old fashioned way while giving the more discerning viewer something to think about.

It’s by no means perfect (few films are) but it does succeed in putting a smile on your face that’s difficult to shake.

The story focuses on ambitious morning TV news programmer Becky Fuller (Rachel McAdams) as she heads to New York to accept the job of trying to revive the ailing viewer ratings of a show called Daybreak (a situation doutbless made all the more amusing given it’s real UK counterpart!).

Becky attempts this by persuading old school evening news man Mike Pomeroy (Harrison Ford) to co-anchor the show with long-time host Colleen Peck (Diane Keaton). But Mike’s disdain for fluff and Colleen makes for a volatile situation that Becky has her work cut out trying to manage, particularly while juggling her own fledgling relationship with fellow journalist Adam (Patrick Wilson).

Roger Michell’s movie deserves praise for bringing a sense of ambition to the rom-com formula and for the way it competently juggles it’s various elements.

The news versus entertainment angle is well observed but not over played and Michell invests it with a lot of humour, the romance is believable and nicely played and there’s even a touching mentor/student sub-plot between Ford and McAdams that builds towards a satisfying pay-off.

The performances, meanwhile, are very endearing even if some (like McAdams and Ford) have to work harder early on to overcome accusations of being too manic/ditzy or gruff and self-centred.

And if supporting players such as Jeff Goldblum and Wilson could have benefited from more screen time, they still manage to make the maximum out of what they have.

Admittedly, there are moments along the way, too, when Morning Glory is caught trying a little too hard to please everyone, with some jokes falling away. But in the main, it’s a hugely endearing journey that’s well worth taking.

Certificate: 12A
Running time: 108mins
UK DVD & Blu-ray Release: May 23, 2011