Review: Morning Glory

Ford: “Look young lady. I have principles you know. Those principles are very important to me. What are you trying to do? Do away with my principles? I will never give those up. Principles is what I live for. I interviewed lots of people with principles but none had mine.”
Mc Adams: “tee hee”

I can safely say that this is one of the worst movies I have seen for a long time. It was boring, unintelligent, drawn out, predictable and the actors had next to zero chemistry between them.

Rachel McAdams is super cute, of course, but painfully perky and other than being super cute and perky, she doesn’t seem to have much else to offer. The movie itself just doesn’t get going either and remains flat throughout. I actually had to finish this in two sittings because it was soooo boring.

There are many lows in this movie but the worst part is the total embarrassment Harrison Ford and Diane Keaton have become. I mean these are two of Hollywood’s finest in terms of acting skill and knowing their craft; yet their roles have been reduced to that of bickering, nagging harpies. Especially Harrison Ford, who’s always been this sharp, classy and together man, appeared frail, tired, and his hands were trembling. He looked like he really didn’t want to do this and as a result delivered an unbelievable performance. To see this legendary actor be reduced to playing a one dimensional, tired and full of stereotypes sidekick to Rachel McAdams and Patrick Wilson, because they are younger and he is older, was very sad. It was a role unworthy of Harrison Ford.

Ford’s character is a walking cliche. He plays the typical untouchable, revered star (veteran news anchor) whose track record of issues with historic significance covered puts every newscaster and journalist at CNN to shame. He is a man with a stern look and principles. Principles he likes to shove into everyone’s face. He has a disdain for the materialism and consumerism of our times and wants no part in it. In fact, he looks down on everyone, including the network that hired him and stuffed his pocket with lots of money, as having sold out the art of journalism for sponsorship and ratings.Of course he doesnt have a problem lowering those sacred standards and work for daytime tv himself. A fact conveniently glossed over by the writers.

I’m so perky. If you poke me with a needle I will burst

I don’t know what’s happened to Harrison Ford, if it is the script or him or what, but he did a lousy job. He had already done a pretty bad job doing the last installment of Indiana Jones too and i thought he would retire from playing roles he just seems too tired for.

But the problem with this movie is not just Ford’s fizzled out, flat performance, it is the story itself. Ford plays a man who’s covered significant historic events and who is supposed to be a legend in his field and passionate about his work. This passion is supposed to create tension and be a real challenge for Rachel McAdams’ character who not only has a lot to learn from this man she so admires but who, as a producer, also has to worry about ratings and money – the two things Ford hates.

Yet, instead of working from that angle and thoughtfully laying out how Ford and Adams work that out, all we get is a fizzled out, flat performance portraying a silly, old man reminiscing about the past and holding on to that “sixteen-millimeter shrine” of his glory days.

he is so boring, paint watches HIM dry.

Ford was not believable as a deep intellectual who lost his bearings (which is what they like us to think). He was dispassionate and boring and just seemed grumpy and tired. As an actor, his heart wasn’t in this performance and that shone through. At some point he was so excited playing this role I thought he would break down and yawn.

And let’s not even talk about the truly monotonous manner with which he delivers the news. He is simply not able to to pull off being or having been a news anchor with that slow stumble. It just sounded too rehearsed and fake and somehow the producers thought we wouldn’t catch it since it is Harrison Ford and who’d criticize Ford.

The movie went downhill from the moment Ford entered and he and Diane Keaton barked at each other like grumpy old people that have fallen victim to juvenile behavior –  and extended into comatose lengths from there on.

The love story between McAdams and Patrick Wilson was laughable and totally unbelievable. Patrick Wilson appears to just have been a stand-in, a nameless, faceless hunk to fit the plot element as the handsome dream-man she clearly deserves and who, as a result, doesn’t need to be given much of a character other than looking good and being there to move the story along. The specifics of how and why they fall in love are not explored; they have a couple of exchanges and then he becomes the love of her life.

Blah Blah Blah Blah…blah blah blah blah…love of my life, we look so good…blah blah blah

Consequently when she says “you are the first person I thought about wanting to share this with” , it looks ridiculous and insincere, because how could she love him, she hasn’t exchanged more than three sentences with him. After she says that, there is a cut (i.e. we dont get ot see his reaction and what he says) and the next frame opens right in the middle of a conversation between them after she “told him”, where he asks her about her job.

So to recap, this is how the scene went down (not in so many words):

She: “I love you, you are my soul mate. You are the first person I had to tell about this
He: “Uh-huh. That’s great. So, tell me about your JOB and promotion“.

Suffice it so say, the love story was totally superfluous becasue it just didn’t add anything to the movie other than being an all too familiar plot device. The producers probably figured that in order for the main character to be successful in her career and life,  it is imperative that the obligatory love interest be there too  – else the formula is incomplete.

One of the issues with this movie was that it wasn’t clear what this was trying to be. A love story? No, because that wasnt worked out. Was it supposed to be about TV Shows and the hard world of TV production? No, because that wasn’t worked out either and the TV setting just seemed to be the incidental backdrop. Was it supposed to be about disillusionment in journalism? No, because – as mentioned above – Ford just did not deliver anything worthwhile and thought provoking in that regard but clichees and banalities.

It is, therefore, unclear what they wanted this to be. Drama, rom-com, comedy, comedy-drama, romance, journalism, hard work, working with legends whose glory days are behind them? To me, it seemed a bit like a neurotic mess.

All in all this was a boring, plain movie with flat characters and an unintelligent, predictable script and dialogues. It was also very unworthy of these quality actors to be even doing such run-of-the-mill junk.

Of course, after writing this review, I found that J.J. Abrams produced it so it doesn’t surprise me at all that this has turned out to be such a vacuous, empty and boring star-studded piece of garbage.

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