Greetings again from the darkness. It would be easy to dismiss this film as typical lighthearted Hollywood fluff that carries no real message (other than a 2 hour escape). The interesting thing is that its really not an escape – we are tossed right into the workaday world of a manic TV producer. Additionally, though it has plenty of light moments, it also carries a bit of depth in breaking down a couple of lead characters.
Rachel McAdams plays Becky Fuller, morning TV show producer. Becky is a cute, driven, frantic, EverReady Bunny ball of energy who watches multiple TV’s and carries on multiple conversations, all while texting incessantly. She is hired by Jeff Goldblum in his final attempt at resurrecting ratings for “Daybreak”, a mere blip of competition to “The Today Show”.
The story gets interesting when Becky recruits/blackmails news legend Mike Pomeroy (Harrison Ford) to co-anchor the show with Diane Keaton‘s character. To compare, Keaton’s character will kiss a frog or don a pink tutu and has mastered the perpetual smile so necessary for morning TV. Ford’s character may not have smiled since 4th grade and views the mission of TV as delivering news and hard stories and information. The good news is that Keaton is actually in control and not over the top, as she has been in most of her recent movies. Ford certainly takes grumpy to the extreme.
The conflict in the story comes from Ford’s character (labeled the world’s third worst person), whom the world has passed by, and McAdams’, who is the eternal optimist. It’s pretty obvious they will somehow save each other, but still I found it entertaining to watch the road. I also got a kick out of the exploits forced upon the poor weatherman played by Matt Malloy. The weatherman role has always seemed to me an odd intersection of clown and scientist.
The film itself, directed by Roger Michell (Venus, Notting Hill) and Aline Brosh McKenna (The Devil Wears Prada), does a nice job with insight into those whose personalities are bound tightly to their job. There were a few occasions where the film felt choppy – like some scenes were cut or reinserted, and the music was consistently weak. I also could have done with about 8 fewer scenes of McAdams running through New York in her heels – we get that she never stops moving! The love story with Patrick Wilson felt forced, though making the point was necessary. And thank goodness, there was no May-September romance between Ford and McAdams! Even though it’s not at the level of Broadcast News, it offers enough depth and comedy to make this a worthwhile film to see.
SEE THIS MOVIE IF: you can’t imagine letting loose of your blackberry for anything or anyone OR you are fascinated by any woman who can sprint while in heels.
SKIP THIS MOVIE IF: you actually believe Harrison Ford is a grumpy old man OR watching Diane Keaton kiss a frog crosses the line for you