After being let go from her job, executive producer Becky Fuller (Rachel McAdams) finds herself in New York, producing a failing morning news show called Daybreak. It’s a challenge from the beginning, with a crowded office that is falling apart and low morale among staff. The co-hosts of the show are no treat either. Colleen Peck (Diane Keaton) is a diva and Paul McVee (Ty Burrell) is an arrogant jerk with a foot fetish. Realizing she needs to make her mark on the staff from the get-go or risk losing any chance of earning their respect, Becky immediately takes charge of the newsroom and fires Paul. This leaves a vacancy in the co-host position and Becky realizes the network has an award-winning veteran news anchor, Mike Pomeroy (Harrison Ford), still on contract. Pomeroy is not at all interested in morning news fluff and finds it beneath him as a hard-hitting journalist, but Becky finds a clause in his contract that if the network officially offers him a job, he has to take it or lose out on his lucrative paycheck.
Pomeroy doesn’t want to miss out on the money, so he agrees to the co-host position. From here Becky faces several obstacles as Mike is not willing to make her job easy. He and Colleen do not get along, he’s grouchy and refuses to do any segment that he doesn’t consider actual news. Becky struggles to keep the show afloat while also balancing a new relationship with Adam (Patrick Wilson), another producer in the building who once had to work with Mike and calls him the “third most horrible person in the world” behind Kim Jong-il and Angela Lansbury.
The romantic aspect of this romantic comedy definitely takes a backseat to Becky’s relationship with her job, as well as her complicated relationship with Mike. I didn’t find this to be a problem as Mike and Becky’s relationship was far more interesting than Becky’s relationship with Adam, who, while quite hunky, was bland and underdeveloped. His role felt like filler, as if someone as cute and perky as Becky needed to have a love interest. But it was Becky’s job as executive producer of Daybreak that really felt like her significant other. I realize there’s a stigma that workaholics are unlucky in love and lonely, but it didn’t feel that way with Becky. She seems to genuinely love her job, and I don’t think anyone could fault her for putting in the necessary time to turn the show around for all involved. If her potential boyfriend has an issue with that, he’s not worth the time, IMO.
Ford is delightfully grumpy as Mike Pomeroy and his scenes with Keaton as they hilariously insult one another are some of the movie’s best moments. Sadly I felt like Keaton was underused in the role, as was Jeff Goldblum, who played Rachel’s boss Jerry. With a cast of this caliber, I wanted to see more from them. McAdams gives a strong performance as Becky. She has some great comedic timing and she holds her own against the rest of the legendary cast, most notably Ford. Whereas Mike and Colleen provide most of the humor, Mike and Becky’s blossoming respect and friendship are the backbone and heart of the movie.
Morning Glory is a cozy, fluffy comedy that ambles along with enough humor and heart to make it worth a watch.