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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Morning Glory



When he promoted Morning Glory on Conan O'Brien's show, Harrison Ford stated, "The girl is very good in it." The girl Ford was referring to is Rachel McAdams, and he wasn't kidding. In Morning Glory, McAdams puts on a winning three ring circus of adorableness, charm, and determination. As a can-do morning television news producer tapped to executive produce Daybreak, the number four morning program in New York City (at the fictional IBS network), McAdams is a whirlwind, somehow turning a struggling, little-seen newscast into a scrappy fighter reflecting her cheerful sensibilities and endless drive. Not that it's easy for her: McAdams has to juggle the diva-like behavior of entrenched anchor Diane Keaton, the ratings demands of her boss Jeff Goldblum, and her greatest challenge, Ford, the ornery bulldog serious reporter she brings in to give Daybreak credibility. Ford, "the Third Worst Person in the World", is in his element, playing difficult, irascible, and cantankerous, but with good reason in his opinion; after a heralded career in news, he finds himself in the twilight of his years forced to do fluff pieces for info-tainment. Ford pointedly expresses the regularly drowned-out viewpoint that modern television news is more about providing pablum for the masses than useful information. McAdams doesn't necessarily argue his point, but her job is to generate ratings to keep her show from getting canceled.  Their prickly relationship is ultimately more interesting than McAdams' love affair with fellow producer Patrick Wilson. Morning Glory could have benefited from a few harder edges, but it's light, frothy entertainment with a deliriously endearing performance by McAdams holding it all together. Whenever McAdams flashes her 10,000 megawatt movie star smile, she's the person you want to wake up with in the morning.