Morning Glory (12A)
It shouldn’t work but it does so, and beautifully.
The combination of Harrison Ford, Diane Keaton and Rachel McAdams plus the sure hand of Roger Michell makes this one of the best fish-out-of-water comedies of recent years.
The key factor in its success is the inspired casting of 68-year-old Ford as the veteran journo and professional grump who finds himself reluctantly co-hosting a failing morning television show and hating every second.
McAdams is Becky Fuller, an energetic TV producer who is surprised to find herself fired. Scraping the bottom of the barrel, she lands a job with Daybreak, a faded and failing programme which she prepares to re-invent via a secret weapon: Mike Pomeroy.
A humourless old-school investigative reporter with an ego twice the size of Jupiter, Pomeroy (Ford) has been put out to grass. He agrees to take the job but sleepwalks through his on-camera moments. Faced with potentially an even bigger disaster than she inherited, Becky must persuade her gruff and irascible old warhorse to enter the fast-moving 21st century world of vapid soft news…
Imagine Jeremy Paxman swapping jobs with Adrian Chiles and Morning Glory makes perfect sense. This is a comic tableau aimed at everyone who despises daytime television and those who make their livings and reputations within it. And in Mike Pomeroy, Ford has finally found a character that suits his laconic, measured drawl.
Pomeroy is a living legend convinced of his own importance and credibility. Faced with another ageing stalwart – Diane Keaton as Colleen Peck, desperate to maintain her stature as top dog – he immediately declares war, refusing to compromise or accept his career is in the toilet.
Morning Glory is a story about common humanity. It focuses on people and the extraordinarily intricate squabbles that inform our working days. It’s about needy folk drowning in self-loathing, self-pity, frustration and silent rage. And it’s about ambition and the desire to make sense of one’s career choices.
Packed with 24-carat performances from Ford, Keaton, McAdams, Jeff Goldblum and John Pankow, this is a solid and credible ensemble piece given authenticity and accuracy by Michell. Scribe Aline Brosh McKenna (The Devil Wears Prada) brings her customary surgical skills to a sharp and edgy expose of the mores of modern television, gleefully laying bare the daily small wars that underline any of the fluffy programmes that infest our channels.
Rachel McAdams is top-billed in Morning Glory but all eyes are on Harrison Ford. He’s brusque, crotchety, crusty and brilliant. One suspects he might not have had to act much, too…