Well-cast film breaks chick flick stereotypes

Alex Williams

On paper, “Morning Glory” sounds like a movie that would be easy to hate.

The story of a down-on-her-luck producer coming to rejuvenate a low-rated morning talk show sounds like a not particularly original twist on every underdog movie ever made. But somehow, “Morning Glory” is effortlessly enjoyable; a light, funny chick flick that knows exactly what’s expected of it and then exceeds those expectations with flying colors.

Rachel McAdams leads a spectacular cast as Becky Fuller, who starts the film as a character we’ve all seen before — a perpetually single workaholic who can’t put down her cell phone or talk about anything but her job. But her unlikely knack for physical comedy and pervasive likability not only anchors the movie, but elevates the character.

In fact, the entire cast is firing on all cylinders. “The A-Team’s” Patrick Wilson makes the film’s unavoidable romantic subplot surprisingly painless, combined with a script that makes the most of his easy charm and refuses to dwell on the romantic angst that pervades so many other films of its ilk.

However, the real star here is Harrison Ford. It’s been 13 years since Ford appeared in a truly enjoyable movie (the last being 1997’s goofy but fun “Air Force One”), and it’s apparent in every scene how relieved he is to finally be reunited with a good script. Mike Pomeroy, Ford’s eternally cranky character, is the film’s best-written character, and Ford plays the hell out of him, stealing every scene and reminding the audience why he’s a Hollywood icon.

Diane Keaton shines as Colleen Peck, a co-anchor whose escalating competition with Mike to see who can be a bigger diva provides some of the film’s biggest laughs.

There’s not much to “Morning Glory” besides the cast. The script is unexceptional, funny and heartfelt where it needs to be but never stands out. Director Roger Michell is equally serviceable, keeping the story moving without calling attention to himself and displaying an uncanny eye for sharp comedic timing.

Ultimately, “Morning Glory” is the movie equivalent of comfort food. It’s endlessly entertaining, boasting an appealing cast, an upbeat, pop-music soundtrack and has very little on its mind beyond entertaining the audience. It may not be looking for awards, and it may not be one of the best movies of the year, but it’s witty, spectacularly acted and wholly recommendable.

Grade: B