A sea change has swept through modern journalism, with websites, blogs, Facebook, and Twitter crowding out old media. The screenwriters of Morning Glory (rated PG-13) must have missed the roughly 1 million articles on this topic as they wrote this charming but outdated examination of modern journalism, specifically the morning show variety.
Becky Fuller (Rachel McAdams), a producer fired from her job at a local TV station, pluckily picks herself up and lands the producer gig at a national morning show. Nobody else wants the job because the female anchor is a hysterical diva, the male anchor is a sexual harasser, and the ratings are in the tank. Armed only with a smile and can-do attitude, Becky cajoles and speechifies the troops into some semblance of morale, pausing only to fire the male anchor.
To fill the empty slot, she turns to a news legend, former evening news anchor Mike Pomeroy (Harrison Ford). Although contractually obligated to fill the chair, he considers himself above fashion bits, cooking segments, the wacky weather guy, and morning shows in general. A mighty war of wills breaks out between Becky, who perpetually seems about to sing like Little Orphan Annie, and Pomeroy, who is just a green wig short of being Oscar the Grouch.
McAdams builds a nice chemistry with Ford, but the film suffers from a disconnection to reality. The viewer might want Becky to succeed, depending on his tolerance for chipper perkiness, but doesn't much care if the morning show does. The story exists in a world without Facebook and Twitter and only briefly mentions a website at all. It's the journalism world of the '90s.
The producers and writers missed a chance either to make the case for television news or to bid it a fond farewell. To ignore such an obvious elephant in the room seemed odd, even more so as the audience checked its Twitter feed as the credits rolled.