A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this workplace comedy -- which co-stars Rachel McAdams, Harrison Ford, and Diane Keaton -- is formulaic, but it's also surprisingly earnest and full of heart. Though some of the characters are self-centered and surly, the movie ultimately has positive messages about the value of hard work and authenticity. Expect some making out and a few sexual innuendoes, a fair bit of swearing (including "f--k"), some drinking and cigar smoking, and disheartening bitterness from some of the more hardened characters.
What's the story?
After being laid off from her job at a middling New Jersey TV show, Becky Fuller (Rachel McAdams) throws herself into the job search, finally landing a position as a producer for fourth-ranked morning news show Daybreak. The opportunity kickstarts the can-do attitude that has always fueled her. Sadly, not everyone at the network shares Becky's zeal. Daybreak's ratings are in the Dumpster, and, amazingly, can sink even further. It doesn't help that morale is low, ideas are unoriginal, and veteran co-anchor Colleen Peck (Diane Keaton) is frustrated. A brilliant idea to hire iconic newsman Mike Pomeroy (Harrison Ford) to join Colleen may be Daybreak's ticket out of the ratings gutter. But Becky's new love interest (Patrick Wilson) says that Mike is the "third-worst person in the world." Can Becky make it work?
Is it any good?
It takes a special kind of actress to make a fairly formulaic movie -- which invites comparisons to the now-classic Broadcast News but can't possibly outdo it -- surprisingly appealing. And that person is Rachel McAdams. She attacks the role of Becky with such authenticity and emotion that we buy her, predictable banter and all. She gives this otherwise-nearly forgettable film soul and carries her weight against the delightful Keaton (who's underused) and memorable Ford (whose character is underexplored). Even Wilson as the token love interest and Jeff Goldblum as Becky's sarcastic network boss have spark.
Too bad, then, that they're all underserved by a story that captures only the typical talking points of any movie that goes behind the scenes of network TV. (Surely, there must be more material to mine than bickering co-hosts and ratings anxiety.) Nevertheless, MORNING GLORY is entertaining, thanks in part to director Roger Michell's peppy pacing and screenwriter Aline Brosh McKenna's engaging dialogue (she also penned The Devil Wears Prada). Morning Glory is no Network, no Broadcast News, but for McAdams, it's further proof of her impressive talent.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the movie's messages about the media itself. What is it saying about the importance of entertainment vs. news? What about morning shows?
Is Becky a positive role model? Why or why not? What about the other characters?
What keeps Becky going despite all of the setbacks she encounters? Does her attitude work for her?
- In theaters: November 10, 2010
- On DVD or streaming: March 8, 2011
- Cast: Diane Keaton, Harrison Ford, Rachel McAdams
- Director: Roger Michell
- Studio: Paramount Pictures
- Genre: Comedy
- Run time: 107 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: some sexual content including dialogue, language and brief drug references
For kids who love comedy
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.