I don’t read other reviews of movies I am reviewing for fear of coloring my writing, or miserably trying to reinvent a perfect turn of phrase after someone else managed to perfectly encapsulate my feelings. Morning Glory is no exception — but yet I feel like I know that I am alone in having enjoyed it as much as I did. Perhaps I was merely won over by Rachel McAdams’ unflagging energy and sparkle. She applies herself almost desperately to the work that she does on morning television, waking up at 3am, being a cheerleader, peacemaker, decision-pusher, and editorial authority, all the while giving 110% while everyone else phones it in.
Perhaps in the moment in time that I was watching her, dimpled and well-pressed, struggle to prop up a show that is staggering in the ratings, perhaps I connected with her all-consuming fire because of my own recent all-consuming project (the one that’s kept me so quiet lately). I derived great joy and fulfillment from what I was focusing on, even without a Patrick Wilson at home being all delicious and supportive, and it was heartening to watch someone who outwardly looks the way my insides felt while doing it. I didn’t face nearly the challenges she did — and I never once looked as impossibly fit or well-dressed. Still, perhaps the easy laughs and gruff predictability of Diane Keaton and Harrison Ford weren’t really as fun or pleasurable as they seemed to be to me in that bubble of experience. But if I enjoyed myself, doesn’t it follow that the movie is enjoyable? Yet I feel wrong about liking it as much as I did.
Maybe the emotional vulnerabilities or lack thereof reflected in everyone’s wardrobe were easy enough for a sartorial Neandertal such as myself to understand. Maybe Bradley Whitford just makes everything seem 15% better automatically, and he pushed the film over the threshold from amiable to lovely. Perhaps my unrelenting, decades-long crush on Jeff Goldblum clouded my judgment. Maybe Matt Malloy needs more great parts like Ernie. I also liked Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip — maybe I just secretly want to work in television.
Whatever the reasons, I simply enjoyed the hell out of Morning Glory — like a bouquet of daisies or a mug of hot chocolate, it was just what I needed to see when I saw it. McAdams has come a long way from her Mean Girls days. Were it not for her aggressive youthfulness, you’d never think she lagged behind Keaton and Ford in experience by about 30 years. She commands the screen and our attention like she finally commands the ship of their show, Daybreak. Her heart is on her sleeve, even when it is in the shadow of her dazzling, “I AM CONFIDENT!” smile. Give Morning Glory a shot.
MPAA Rating PG-13
Release date 11/10/10
Time in minutes 102
Director Roger Michell
Studio Paramount Pictures