Though it is well known the camera loves Rachel McAdams, "Morning Glory" takes no chances, and arranges a shotgun marriage.
I don't know that an actress has even been photographed doing so many cute things, and so relentlessly - smiling, sighing, blowing the bangs off her forehead, etc.
You know the phrase "charm offensive"? It takes on multiple meanings here. "Morning Glory" is like a forced marched of adorableness, backed by a music supervisor's mix-tape of syrupy songs.
There's a movie in there somewhere, but not much of one. "Morning Glory" is a watered-down "Broadcast News" featuring McAdams as Becky Hughes, a producer trying to rescue a terrible morning show by bringing in a retired Dan Rather-ish news legend named Mike Pomeroy (Harrison Ford) to add gravitas.
At least that's the premise for 10 seconds. To my horror and consternation, I soon realized Becky's bid to make the show more substantial was just a gambit, interchangeable with other, more desperate measures.
If it didn't work, she'd happily use Pomeroy's shamed, reluctant presence as a stunt - install him as the resident curmudgeon clown opposite a bubbleheaded co-anchor (Diane Keaton) in a vaudeville act designed to achieve ratings at any cost.
"Broadcast News" was about the subtle surrender of news to entertainment. "Glory" is about its willful, aggressive capitulation. But this, I guess, makes it a media movie for the Internet Generation, for whom website hits and "traffic" justify all things.
Harrumph! Now I sound like Mike Pomeroy, a relic of the dinosaur MSM, ranting about eroding standards.
Who cares about morning "news" shows?
Who gets their news from networks anyway?
We get it from Jon Stewart, so it's worth noting that he makes his living attacking the very sort of vapid, degraded, stunt-plagued news show that "Morning Glory" seems to celebrate.
"Morning Glory," by any measure, isn't very good. It wastes time, for instance, on a spark-free romance pairing McAdams with reliably bland Patrick Wilson.
Her chemistry with Ford, Becky's tyrannical mentor, is better, and you can see screenwriter Aline Brosh McKenna riffing on her work in "The Devil Wears Prada."
But that's just another movie that makes "Morning Glory" look puny by comparison.
You get funnier jokes, a better love story and more trenchant media commentary from "Anchorman."