Mr. Movie

'Morning Glory' offers glorious look at morning TV

Though the hours are brutal, those working morning TV and radio will tell you that no shift is more fun.

In a newsroom and morning TV production studio there is something fresh, natural and up-beat about a new day.

As a rule, movies and TV sitcoms about broadcasting don’t work that well. However, TV does have a record of doing fictional stories about TV news a bit better than movies. Morning Glory is the exception. It’s a notch more serious and just slightly more realistic than the TV classic Mary Tyler Moore.

-- Local show times, theaters, trailer.

Rachel McAdams ( Sherlock Holmes) stars as Becky Fuller. She makes like Mary and buzzes upbeat through the role of a TV morning show producer. Her unenviable task: ramp up the ratings of the nation’s least watched network morning show. Through heroics found only on sitcom TV, and a predictable love story, Becky cajoles, inspires and propels her staff and the movie toward the expected and non-surprising conclusion.

McAdams teams with a dour Harrison Ford and a perky Diane Keaton. They play her morning show team. The film’s focus is Becky babysitting Ford’s Pulitzer Prize winning journalist. He’s on the downward side of a glorious career. A secondary plot is her relationship to the boyfriend and then there’s a staff that includes Keaton.

Most of us watch TV talking heads and wonder what’s turning in the wheels behind the pasted on smiles. They make nicey-nice ad-libs before a commercial break. The film’s funniest bits come from ad-libs from Ford and Keaton as they one-up each other on-air.

McAdams helps the film along by underplaying her producer character and anchoring the dilemma of her co-star anchor.

Ford has comfortably made the transition from box-office star to a supporting role. His acting works. An almost constipated news delivery doesn’t. The underused Keaton — on the other hand — gets it. She’s a natural for morning TV and if Keaton is ever in need of a second career, she ought to give morning TV a try.

With the rom-com formula it’s all about how you get from A to Z. A great script from The Devil Wears Prada’s Aline Brosh McKenna and near perfect storytelling from director Roger Michell ( Notting Hill) make this newsworthy.

Rated PG-13 for mature themes. It opened Wednesday, Nov. 10 at Regal’s Columbia Center 8 and at the Fairchild Cinemas 12.

Mr. Movie rating: 4 stars

5 stars/4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen

4 stars / 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie

3 stars / 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on DVD

2 stars / 1 star: Don't bother

0 stars: Speaks for itself