Review: "Morning Glory" with Rachel McAdams, Harrison Ford

When I first got my passes to see "Morning Glory", I figured I'd go see it because I adore Rachel McAdams and Harrison Ford is generally pretty awesome. I wasn't sure what to expect from the movie itself, and I certainly didn't think I'd come away feeling like I'd seen one of my favorite movies of the year, but that's exactly what happened.

Now, before I get to the reasons why I liked "Morning Glory", let me issue the caveat that this movie isn't going to appeal to everyone, and for good reason. For the most part, the film -- a Bad Robot production, which I wasn't aware of prior to the opening title screen -- follows a standard Hollywood formula, right down to the "fixing things up" montage in the middle and the all-too-perfect ending. There are at least two hinted-at subplots that just disappear without any resolution, and Ty Burrell is criminal underutilized. To put it simply, the movie isn't going to win any awards anytime soon, and may not even do that well at the box office.

But, for me, this was an incredibly enjoyable movie. There were large swaths of the movie that I felt were written just for me, because I could relate to either the characters (particularly McAdams' Becky) or the scenarios so well. In many ways, the movie made me long for the days of working live television, most notably in a scene early in the movie when Becky goes through her routine, which involves waking up at 1:30 a.m. to put on a TV show in the wee hours of the morning (oh, and in case you're wondering, my situation was reversed, and I'd often wake up at about 2 or 3 p.m. to prepare to work until 3 in the morning).

The backbone of the movie is the relationship between McAdams' Becky, the producer of a failing morning show called "Daybreak" at the fictional IBS network, and Ford's Mike Pomeroy, an old-school newsman in the Walter Cronkite mold. (As an aside, there's a scene in the movie where a random person on the street mistakes Pomeroy for Rather. The child of the woman sitting next to me in the theater asked "who's Dan Rather?"I shuddered. Who's Dan Rather?! Sorry... back to the review...)

The movie resists the urge to make the relationship between McAdams and Ford a romantic one, save for one joke early on, but sometimes drifts a bit too much into father-daughter territory for my tastes. Still, the strength of the two actors helps their characters rise above the sometimes banal nature of the story. Ford also does a great job playing off Diane Keaton, who isn't given nearly as much to do playing his co-host Colleen.

While McAdams and Ford don't have a romantic relationship in the movie, there is a romantic subplot between Becky and one of her co-workers, but it's not nearly as big a part of the movie as I would have anticipated. In fact, while some people attending the screening were talking about this being a "chick flick" going in, I think the movie did a good job minimizing the rom-com story, and probably would have been just as strong -- if not stronger -- if it had dropped it entirely.

Still, it's McAdams who makes this movie work, and had me engrossed for the entire movie (and not just because she's so hot, which she is). I think a lot of the general audience for this movie is going to wonder if someone like Becky could really exist, but I can assure you that she does. I've worked with her. Hell, I've been her (during the writing of this review, I've checked my work iPhone twice and I've had my eye on two different sporting events going on in the background), and for me that was a large part of the appeal of the movie. It's entirely possible that you won't enjoy it like I did, but if you enjoy McAdams, you'll probably find something to like about "Morning Glory."

"Morning Glory" is rated PG-13 for some sexual content including dialogue, language and brief drug references. Runs 102 minutes. Starring Rachel McAdams, Harrison Ford, Diane Keaton, Jeff Goldblum and Patrick Wilson, "Morning Glory" opens nationwide on Nov. 10.