DECEMBER 13, 2010

Following your dreams is a passion I have carried my entire life. From the first time my parents told me I could be whatever I dreamed of, I listened. As I got into my college years and now after, I feel as though, at some point, I was supposed to realize that following one’s desires is not what your parents made it out to be. Instead, I continue (slowly but surely) to chase every aspect I imagined in my younger years. “Morning Glory” carries those same sentiments.

Rachel McAdams, one of the best young actresses on the scene today, plays Becky Fuller, an early morning television producer. When you first meet Becky, she has a small-time job at the morning show “Good Morning New Jersey” which resembles a show the likes that PBS would air, but she enjoys it. That is until they lay her off.

Becky’s predicament sends her home to her mother for advice. Though one of the shortest portions, this is the scene that resonates the most with my own life. Her mother delivers the “hard truth” as only an overprotective mother could. Though she does not see the weight of her words, Becky’s mother tells her that it is time to put her aspirations of working at the Today Show behind her and settle. Why does this hit home with me? I am a dreamer, and though my family supports me in all my endeavors, they are constantly trying to pull me to the ground and force me into a content lifestyle instead of the adventurous one I want. My dreams may be farfetched or silly, but they are mine, and with nothing to hold me back, why shouldn’t I continue to get the best out of my life? Becky and I become the same character at this point.

Through her perseverance and the manic nature of her character, Becky lands a job at the down-and-out morning talk show Daybreak. Jeff Goldblum plays Becky’s new boss, Jerry Barnes. Diane Keaton plays the eccentric Colleen Peck (Diane Keaton), who fits her role as co-host strikingly, with the capability to have an actual future as the next Meredith. The Today Show is killing Daybreak’s rating, so Jerry (Goldblum) hands Becky the entire show, eventually placing an ultimatum over her position and the whole show. Becky must fight for her chance to fulfill her dreams.

Becky’s first task as the head producer is finding a new co-host, as the current male lead has perversion issues. Becky turns to the outcasted Mike Pomeroy (Harrison Ford), known for groundbreaking journalism and monotonic dialogue. When Pomeroy’s buzz is shattered by his unwilling nature and droll character on-screen, Becky takes extreme measures to heighten ratings, mainly inflicting hilarious sequences of on-screen torture on the quirky weatherman. No dramatic comedy has made me laugh quite as hard as “Morning Glory” had me laughing in the theater.

Without ruining the conclusion, Becky finds a way to get her professional and personal life on track, pursuing fellow employee Adam (Patrick Wilson). He can work with Becky’s obsessive-compulsive nature and even meet the heads of the Today Show. Becky’s story plays out perfectly for the wishful thinker inside of me, and I enjoyed the final scenes of her running back to the station after a massive breakthrough with Pomeroy.

Harrison Ford’s character, as I suspected beforehand, overshadows the entire film, and without him, “Morning Glory” would not be as fun as it becomes with his presence. Pomeroy will become one of Harrison Ford’s funniest film moments. Ford proves that when Indiana Jones is retired, the veteran actor will still have a place in films under the wing of funny yet touching dramatic comedies.

“Morning Glory” covers all the bases. The cast is spectacular, with the re-emergence of Jeff Goldblum and the revitalization of Ford and Keaton, whose chemistry makes for great “on-air television” and great episodes of big screen magic. Rachel McAdams continues to be a brilliant actress, with just the right blend of beauty, brains, and sexuality. The film’s imagery takes nothing away from the film and immerses the audience without distraction. “Morning Glory” has a strong soundtrack, headed by Natasha Bedingfield, with “Strip Me” that comes straight from the well-built trailer for the film.

With such a great message for the world’s dreamers, there is little reason not to become enthralled in “Morning Glory.” Not many films can boast the ability to send a message to just about any age group that steps into the theater. “Morning Glory” is not just another chick flick. “Morning Glory” is a solid drama masked by the physical features of a chick flick. Just sitting here reflecting on the film makes me smile. Long story short, “Morning Glory” is successful on all fronts.

November 10, 2010

Roger Michell

Aline Brosh McKenna

Paramount Pictures

(for some sexual content including dialogue, language and brief drug references)

107 minutes

Alwin H. Küchler

David Arnold

Dan Farrell
Nick Moore
Steven Weisberg

Rachel McAdams
Harrison Ford
Diane Keaton
Patrick Wilson
Jeff Goldblum
Ty Burrell

J. J. Abrams
Bryan Burk

$40 million

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