Jan 25 2011 Fulham Chronicle
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Ford and Keaton show their young peers how it is done in this hilarious comedy, writes DAMON SMITH
LADEN with polished one-liners, Morning Glory is a frothy comedy based around a shambolic TV breakfast show called Daybreak. Scriptwriter Aline Brosh McKenna hasn't been drawing inspiration from the critically lambasted replacement for GMTV. Instead, she breathes in the jaded air of American network morning shows, which gently rouse viewers from their slumber with a blend of news and light-hearted human-interest stories.
Against this backdrop of on-air calamity, McKenna charts the precarious rise of an ambitious young woman, drawing obvious comparisons with her screenplay for The Devil Wears Prada.
In that film, Anne Hathaway weathered the hysterical barbs of Meryl Streep's haughty fashion magazine doyenne.
Here, Rachel McAdams' perennially perky producer endures a verbal onslaught from a veteran anchorman, who believes that a job in front of the cameras on morning TV is far below him. He may be right.
Becky Fuller (Rachel McAdams) is one of the brightest stars at Good Morning New Jersey, but her sterling efforts are rewarded with redundancy. Unperturbed, the young producer telephones every network in her search for a job, to the despair of her mother (Patti D'Arbanville), who wants her daughter to give up her dream.
"At eight it was adorable, at 18 it was inspiring, at 28 it's embarrassing. Let's stop before it gets to heartbreaking," she counsels.
Thankfully, New York network manager Jerry Barnes (Jeff Goldblum) comes to Becky's rescue.
He offers her the poisoned chalice of Daybreak, the station's breakfast show, which ranks a lowly third in the ratings.
Arriving on set, Becky discovers that co-anchors Paul McVee (Ty Burrell) and Colleen Peck (Diane Keaton) are at loggerheads, the tension between them palpable during their broadcasts.
Becky bravely fires Paul and aggressively pursues Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Mike Pomeroy (Harrison Ford) as a replacement.
The veteran news hound mocks Becky for suggesting he should work on Daybreak: "Half the people who watch the show have lost their remotes, the other half are waiting for their nurse to turn them over!"
However, he eventually puts macho pride to one side and settles into the presenter's chair alongside Colleen.
Morning Glory is a hoot, distinguished by a scenery-chewing performance from Ford as the revered news man, who gleefully sparks an on-air spat with his co-host about bangers and mash by sneering: "It's tough to get between you and a sausage!"
Keaton gives as good as she gets and Matt Molloy is memorable as long-suffering weatherman Ernie, who is forced to deliver reports while tandem skydiving or sitting in the front carriage of a rollercoaster.
McAdams is a tad insipid and her romance with Patrick Wilson's hunk is a trifle, but when Roger Michell's film is focused on antics in and around the Daybreak studio, we're laughing uproariously.