Morning Glory Feels Good

Harrison Ford hasn’t looked this comfortable in years.

Morning Glory is a lesson in what to do with an aging actor, who is incredibly talented, cerebral and still darned handsome.

The film is about young producer Becky Fuller, who’s at the end of her rope when she’s offered a job on a morning show with incredibly low ratings.

The producer, played by the adorable Rachel McAdams, comes up with the plan to replace the perverted, negative anchor on the show with the grumpy, belligerent award-winning reporter, played by Ford.

Ford and Keaton

It was a bit of a masterstroke, placing Diane Keaton opposite Ford as seasoned morning show veteran, Colleen Peck.

The banter between these two seasoned professionals was often acerbic, edgy and rip-roaringly funny.

In fact, it would have been nice if there was quite a bit more of it.

Clearly the two prized stallions of the film could have easily over-shadowed the others.

McAdams held her own

Still, McAdams clearly has chops, and holding her own with Ford and Keaton (no small task) places her as a leading lady with a promising future.

In Morning Glory, McAdams proves not only that she can hold her own as a leading actress, but also that she is potentially a great physical comedian.

Other notable performances were by John Pankow, who’s well-known for his stint on the television hit Mad About You.

As assistant producer, he won audiences over with his tenderness towards McAdams’ character.

Jeff Goldblum, as network television executive Jerry Barnes, provides a fair amount of conflict, as McAdams tries to convince him to fight for the show.

But Goldblum, an actor with great comedic timing, could have been put to better use.

Good writing and  direction

Director Roger Michell has often worked on films in the UK as well as the US and is no stranger to drama and comedy.

He’s directed films such as Notting Hill, Venus and Changing Lanes.

Morning Glory is further evidence that Michell can direct heavy hitters.

His use of montage in Morning Glory was brilliantly put together, eliciting side splitting laughs from the crowds as Diane Keaton was bounced around on the belly of a sumo wrestler.

There was, however, a sloppy job done on sound mixing, which at times seemed choppy and overwhelming as the music sometimes swelled unnecessarily.

Yet, despite these small flaws that only really affected a small area of the film near its end, Morning Glory is a film that will have audiences leaving the theatre feeling an ample amount of gleeful mirth.

The film is clever in so far as it doesn’t shy away from the current discourse regarding television reporting, such as news versus entertainment and is soft news a valid form of journalism.

These issues come up regularly in the banter between Ford and Keaton leaving no room for criticism about a film that asks, ‘What bad things can you say about morning shows that we haven’t already said?’

Writer Aline Brosh Mckenna, who also wrote The Devil Wears Prada, is greatly responsible for this clever handling of the world of morning television news in the film.

Morning Glory delivers quite well and will undoubtedly become a DVD summer favourite.

The Bounty Hunter: It’s the Director’s Fault

Let’s face it together, shall we?   Jennifer Aniston was just not herself.

Yes, actors are not supposed to be themselves in films, but they are at least expected to rise to the occasion that often pays them millions of dollars. 

How chemistry could be lacking when one of the stars is Gerard Butler is something the audience will have to leave director Andy Tennant to ponder. 

And when perusing the repertoire of Aniston, who by the way doesn’t do nearly enough films like The Good Girl or Friends with Money,  her comedic timing and skill represents her in a way that could make the  most sceptical critique fall in love with even the corniest of Rom-Coms. 

Those who doubt Aniston’s ability merely have to remember her ten-year stint on Friends, where more often then not, she stole the show.

Yet, Aniston fails to grab the audience in The Bounty Hunter, as her character seems strangely pre-occupied.  One is almost compelled to ask the screen, ‘Would you rather be doing something else besides acting in this movie?’

Butler on the other hand carries the film. His gift is so great that he apparently doesn’t need another person to generate chemistry.  And despite the fact that the Costume and Wardrobe Department put a plaid shirt on Butler that made his incredible abs seem more like he was two months pregnant, he still managed to come off as a sexy forty-year old.

Why blame the director?

Other directors haven’t had much problem getting more out of Aniston.  And if a co-star whose performance was a bit wooden was the only problem with this film, Tennant could be forgiven.

Audiences would not do well to expect too much out of Rom-Com soundtracks.  After all, you’re there for the cheesy romance and the comedy that engenders a chuckle or two.  But the soundtrack to The Bounty Hunter sounds dangerously like a playlist entitled ‘1990’s B-Side Tracks’. 

Viewers may also find it difficult to work out just what purpose was served by writing in supporting character Stewart, played by Jason Sudeikis.  If this jilted journalist, who couldn’t take a hint, was meant to be the comedy relief – then he failed miserably.  The character was more annoying than funny.

Short on comedy and romance, this film doesn’t even merit enough stars so that Butler and Aniston could each have one.  But if you’re really bored and have absolutely nothing else you could be doing, feel free to watch when it comes on cable a couple of years from now around 11pm.  Perhaps it could help you get to sleep.