Review: Morning Glory

Written by Meg Walter on . Posted in Film

I don’t know that I’ve ever found a soundtrack as distracting as the soundtrack in Morning Glory. There are soundtracks that are dated and soundtracks that are quirky, but they usually fit the movie. Morning Glory was a rom-com at best, yet it had the score of an award-winning World War II film. The orchestra swelled at the strangest moments. Rachel McAdams walks into a staff meeting and the music suggests Germany just surrendered.

And speaking of Rachel McAdams, remember how fabulous she was as Regina George in Mean Girls? She was fabulous. One of the greatest villains of film history. But that was over six years ago. Every role since then has been disappointing, seeming to rely on McAdam’s charming looks, and her charming looks alone. Morning Glory is no different.  Our dear Rachel ran around for an hour and a half muttering about how busy her job is, how unlikely she is to have a boyfriend, and how she is taking on the world with her morning show. She kept telling us these things, but she never really showed us.

The movie did a whole lot of explaining about what was going on, but very little demonstrating. It told us Harrison Ford was ornery. It told us Diane Keaton was a diva. It told us Rachel McAdams was socially awkward. How hard could it be for Han Solo, Annie Hall and Regina George to convince us with minimal acting? I blame the script.

There are a few shining moments in the film. All of them set in the TV studio during the production of DayBreak.  It’s a lot of fun to see the behind-the-scenes of a morning news show. The chaos, the goofy staffers, and the hosts’ antics give the film much-needed energy. These moments, however, are brief and overshadowed by two different relationships — one between Rachel and a hunky guy who works upstairs (I don’t think I ever caught his name) and another between Rachel and her new, stubborn Harrison Ford anchor.

Neither of these relationships is remotely convincing. The first consists of one date, then a dramatic breakup filled with the words “you always” and “you never” as though it were a 20-year marriage. The second also skips any semblance of development and jumps from “I’m grouchy and I hate that I’m on this show” right to “You and this show saved my life,” then right back to “I hate you and my life.”

The more interesting relationship is between Keaton and Ford, with their shared contempt for each other. Their biting comments back and forth are actually pretty awesome and, according to the film, cause a huge spike in ratings for DayBreak, save the show, save everyone on the show, but then immediately dissolve into strange, old people promiscuity.

It feels as though the filmmakers ran out of minutes and had to cut any sort of development, be it relationship, character or plot. Yet they spend a good deal of time on Rachel McAdams wearing a flowy dress (to a job interview?) running, in slow motion, through a courtyard, with crazy music, only to finally arrive at a scene that I know is supposed to give me chills but instead only made me laugh out loud and get a dirty look from the girl sitting next to me in the theater.

Regina George, Han Solo/Indiana Jones, Annie Hall and World War II orchestration — you deserve so much better.

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