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Ed reviews: 'Morning Glory'

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PG-13

1 star

In the interest of fairness, I want to note that my reaction to Morning Glory appeared to be far more intense than that of anyone else attending the sneak preview last night. The film drew laughs from the audience and even received some applause at the end. Afterwards, I heard a number of people refer to it as "cute." So there you go.

Now that I've been fair, I'd like you to know that idiotic comedy Morning Glory is one of the most annoying movies I've suffered through in a long time. I wanted to grab virtually every character in the story and bang their heads together like Moe used to do to Larry and Curly. I wanted to bang the actors' heads together as well, along with writer AlineBrosh McKenna and director Roger Michell.

Man, it's nearly 12 hours since I saw the movie and I'm getting mad all over again.

Morning Glory follows small-market TV producer Becky Fuller (Rachel McAdams) as she snags a job running the lowest rated Today-style network morning show in the country. Becky is unfailingly energetic as she sputters and bumbles her way through everything. We're supposed to find her plucky and charming. I found her grating, at best. In addition to her presentation style problems, there's her approach to morning shows.

Basically, everything the movie Network warned us about is her goal in life.

After sacking the male anchor, an aggressively boorish foot fetishist played by Modern Family's Ty Burrell, she needs someone to pair with female anchor Colleen Peck (Diane Keaton), a full-of-herself ex-beauty queen prone to maddening snit fits. Becky drafts legendary TV anchor Mike Pomeroy, a misanthropic, pompous-ass Dan Rather type played by Harrison Ford as if he was being held at gunpoint.

Becky's efforts result in a drop in the program's already horrible ratings and she is informed by the least credible network executive ever created (Jeff Goldblum) that the show will be soon be canceled unless she can find a way to raise the ratings.

What else... There's a sorta romantic subplot involving Becky and producer Adam Bennett (Patrick Wilson from Watchmen). Bennett is notable because he is the only character in the movie who appears to be a well-balanced adult. I wanted to shout to him, "Run, Adam, run! Get away from that meat-bag of nervous tics and stupid ideas and go date the blonde from the restaurant!"

Aside from poor Adam, Morning Glory is populated by overgrown babies, sourpusses and clueless jerks, presented as if they were adorable. There is nothing entertaining or endearing about watching talented actors play creeps and boobs. Sure, Rachel McAdams is charming, but not in this movie. In this movie, she's a cheerleader for mediocrity. Wait, that's too kind. She's a cheerleader for shit, for career advancement at the cost of quality.

I'm running out of space and I haven't had a chance to talk about the relationship between the movie and real-life, which is none. Nada. When the story turns serious — really! — for a few minutes towards the end, we are subjected to events not even tethered to the world as we know it. Morning Glory is to Broadcast News what Three's Company was to The Philadelphia Story. Maybe that's what pissed me off so much. The plot description, coupled with the impressive cast, had me expecting a smart, solid comedy set on the same planet I live on. Then I got a celebration of repellent characters and noxious storytelling.

Related Film

Morning Glory

Official Site: www.morningglorymovie.com

Director: Roger Michell

Producer: J.J. Abrams, Bryan Burk, Sherryl Clark and Guy Riedel

Cast: Rachel McAdams, Harrison Ford, Diane Keaton, Jeff Goldblum, Patrick Wilson, John Pankow, Matt Malloy and Patti D'Arbanville

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