Morning Glory, like its protagonist, is so lovably corny that you can’t help but root for it. Rachel McAdams plays the obligatory career obsessed yet socially awkward rom-com lead, but does it with so much spunk and vigor that you completely forget she’s a cliche.
When McAdams gets canned from her job at Good Morning New Jersey, she lands an executive producing job at Daybreak, the fourth-rated morning show in America, behind The Today Show, Good Morning America and “that thing on CBS,” as Jeff Goldblum explains as only he knows how. Faced with cancellation if she doesn’t improve the show’s ratings, she begins pulling out all the stops as depicted in a hilarious montage of sky diving, ass-tattooing mayhem.
The only problem resides in the pompous attitude of her new anchor, a legendary news man played by Harrison Ford who refuses to buy in and work any sort of low-brow story. Diane Keaton plays Ford’s co-anchor and while she doesn’t weigh heavily on the plot, she provides many of the film’s laughs. Unlike Ford, she’s upbeat and willing to kiss frogs and rap alongside 50 Cent to spike the ratings.
There’s also a relationship between McAdams and Patrick Wilson that feels like a mere footnote, but the film is better off for it. All the real romance exists in the love affair between McAdams and her career. When the requisite slow-motion running montage shows up at the end, it’s refreshing to know it’s not the boyfriend she’s trying to catch.
McAdams has terrific chemistry with Ford, and their central relationship succeeds as the heart of the film. For all the bickering from the old man about merely using words like “fluffy” on air, they deliver plenty of laughs and sentiment.
McAdams is probably too good of an actress to stick around in the date movie genre for much longer, but I’m sure there are plenty of guys (and probably girls) who hope she does. It can’t be understated how much less enjoyable Morning Glory would have been had it starred Katherine Heigl.