Becky Fuller (Rachel McAdams) works on a successful breakfast television show and is so dedicated to her job that she hopes to be promoted to a producing role, even if it means missing out on even more of her social life - she doesn't have a boyfriend and any attempt to get one is scuppered by her working hours, which include getting up at two o'clock in the morning. So when she is called in to her boss's office her colleagues think the news is going to be good - imagine her disappointment when she ends up being regretfully fired. What happened to her big dreams?
Morning Glory, a title that could make you think it's either an Oasis biopic or some kind of saucy naughtiness, was not exactly a huge hit when it opened, in spite of stars of bright wattage and a script that followed similar lines to its screenwriter Aline Brosh McKenna's previous hit, The Devil Wears Prada. Perhaps potential audiences were turned off by the thought of watching a comedy set in a situation that they were not exactly riveted by, reasoning that they could watch that kind of thing every morning in the comfort of their own homes, but the fact was that many of those who dismissed it were missing out.
From the opening scene, you might be expecting a typical chick flick as Becky tries and fails to have a date in the middle of the day, but this was actually more of a working girl yarn where our heroine had to prove herself in the occupation she has chosen. Early on she has a heart to heart with her mother (Patti D'Arbanville in barely more than a cameo) where she is told to give up her childhood ambition to work in television because it's getting tragic, but she decides to persevere and what do you know? She actually gets an interview to run a struggling breakfast show in New York, and is so bright and bubbly she gets the job, but is it a poisoned chalice?
The morale is low, their stories contain no exclusives, and bickering is the order of the day. But Becky siezes her chances and before long has fired the sleazy anchor and installed a veteran newsman, Mike Pomeroy (Harrison Ford), who is manoeuvered into the post thanks to being constricted by his contract. It's safe to say he is not delighted to be linking lifestyle segments after his heavyweight career, and soon he is bringing everyone down; you could observe that casting a star not best known for his cheery and sunny disposition was not really much of a stretch for him, yet Ford rose the occasion and never resorted to over the top tantrums, keeping Pomeroy's resentment a simmering pot of disgruntlement.
Also amusing though still secured by realism was Diane Keaton as Mike's co-anchor Colleen Peck and far more fluffy than anyone he can tolerate, on camera that is, as off she is high strung and bitchy, revealing an utter lack of chemistry between the two presenters that does nothing to salvage the ratings. Soon the show is about to be cancelled by Becky's boss (a wry Jeff Goldblum) so she goes all out to rope in the viewers, staging such stunts as torturing the sickeningly upbeat weatherman (Matt Molloy) with rollercoasters and parachute jumps, and allowing Mike and Colleen to trade barbs on air, which does start to reverse the downward spiral. Keeping things busy in the plot is love interest Patrick Wilson, but he's actually the least diverting part, as you are keen to see Becky succeed even if her idea of watchable TV verges on trashy TV. Fortunately the message is not that you must appeal to the lowest common denominator to win, but that a balance must be struck, just as this film does, nothing groundbreaking but very worthwhile in a genre too full of duds. Music by David Arnold.