Starring: Rachel McAdams, Diane Keaton, Harrison Ford, Noah Bean, Patrick Wilson, Jeff Goldblum

Director: Roger Michell

Writer: Aline Brosh McKenna

Cinematography: Alwin H. Kuchler

Original Score: David Arnold

Running Time: 107 Mins.

You have to feel sorry for Paramount, Morning Glory was a hard sell, perhaps this is why it hardly set the box-office alight stateside and arrives on our shores without a great deal of enthusiasm, this is a great shame for those very reasons. For a start Americans appear to be un-accepting of a film unless it can sit nicely in a little box marked “comedy”, “drama” or any other generic genre which is a great shame given that not being able to categorise something often screams of originality! Secondly is the ability of those Yanks to “get” sarcasm, something which Morning Glory has in spades, all thanks to the one and only Harrison Ford.

Morning Glory sees Becky Fuller (McAdams), Executive producer of morning TV show Day Break,attempting to improve ratings so that said show doesn’t end up with the axe in favour of quiz shows and nature programmes, in an effort to pep up the viewing figures she hires esteemed news reporter Mike Pomperoy (Ford) unfortunately Mike finds the fluff pieces of morning TV below him but is forced into it anyway due to cntractual obligations, add to this a diva-esque co-host in the form of Diane Keaton’s Colleen Peck, a burgeoning romance with feature producer Adam (Wilson, reliably … reliable) and a demanding boss (Goldblum, stern rather than kooky for a change), all of which means Becky has her hands full.

Despite the presence of Wilson as the romantic interest the focus is well and truly on Becky’s job, yes this affects her ability to hold down a relationship (the film opens in standard rom-com territory with a disasterous date) but it seems to be there to highlight how dedicated she is to the task at hand, and how that in itself can be as deeply rewarding as finding “true love”. Plot wise there is little to surprise, linear and with the usual last minute revelation that sets a chain of events in motion to save the day but it is in the performances that the enjoyment is offered, Morning Glory is entertainment pure and simple.

There are two reasons for this, firstly is in the two central turns, Ford is a joy and could well prove to be the comedy performance of the year spitting out his lines to the point where you think he really doesn’t want to be in the film let alone his character be on morning television. It’s not a deep attempt to show the layers of a man deemed “the third worst in the world” but he is someone who is at once likeable to watch with a warm centre “natch” however its nice that come the end he hasn’t gone through a big “seen the light” transformation into Mr. Nice Guy. Equally as good but for differing reasons is McAdams, she has sat on the edge of superstardom for years now and hopefully this will take her to the top of the casting tree. A damn sight better than many of her peers, Katherine Heigl take a bow, she is also hugely likeable and you feel for her as she attempts to control the uncontrollable in Ford.

Of the rest of the support Keaton comes out on top purely by playing Ford at his own game, their banter is the comic highlight and I for one could have watched a whole film filled with it, if I had to level a criticism it was that there isn’t enough of Keaton onscreen. Wilson is much more likeable than he has been of late and  despite a rather thankless role he takes the supportive boyfriend part on the chin, matched well to McAdams to make for a believable fling if nothing else. Though as I said before this is a film about the throes of working hard and the comedy that comes from characters eccentricities rather than cheap visual gags, the kind Becky hoists upon her unsuspecting viewers!

VERDICT

Ford and McAdams are the stars here, with a strong contender for comedy performance of the year amongst a warm and likeable film. it won’t set the world alight but very few films are genunely “feel-good”, something Morning Glory achieves with aplomb.

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