Updated: Aug 5, 2019
Optimism springs eternal in this feel-good newsroom drama.
Streaming on Amazon Prime | 2010 | PG-13 | 1h 47m
reviewed by Grace
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Why We Watched: I've wanted this movie to stream for ages. I rented it on DVD back in 2010 when it came out and watched it alone in my single dorm room in the dark days following the loss of two friends. It brought me laughter and joy, and it's had a soft spot in my heart ever since. When I saw it pop up on Amazon Prime last week, I pressed play immediately!
You Might Also Like: Bridget Jones's Diary, streaming on Amazon, is the perfect choice if Morning Glory leaves you wanting more. The clips of Bridget doing "serious journalism" are so fun and remind me of the DayBreak team's antics.
I fretted for days about what kind of super-summery, possibly patriotic flick I should pick for the day after July 4th. But nothing felt right, so I decided to take a different tack.
Yes, July 4th is one of our nation's greatest and most special holidays: Independence Day, the birthday of our country. But it is also a pivotal moment on the calendar—it's almost precisely the middle of the year. So I chose my What-to-Watch rec this week based on a feeling and a mindset I'm chasing right now: renewed motivation, work ethic, and focus, and optimism that I have plenty of time to accomplish all of my goals for 2019, and maybe even set a few more. Morning Glory is the movie to watch to put you in that frame of mind, and that's why I think you should watch it this week.
Rachel McAdams stars in this low-key, up-beat movie about Becky Fuller, plucky young news producer who has never met a challenge she didn't rise to. Her dream is to work for The Today Show, but when she is unceremoniously fired from her job at Good Morning New Jersey, it seems like all her hard work might be for nothing. Disregarding her mother's encouragement to give up before she embarrasses herself, Becky sends out resumes and soon lands DayBreak, the struggling morning show on the IBS network. No one, not even the man who hires her (Jeff Goldblum), thinks this show has much of a future. It's been on the air for a long time, but other more popular shows are edging DayBreak out, and ratings are lackluster. It doesn't help that co-host Paul McVee (Ty Burrell) is a nightmare to work with, and he and co-host Colleen Peck (Diane Keaton) loathe each other.
Becky's challenge is to turn the show around. When she fires the insufferable McVee on day one, people are thrilled—but also a little shook. (This producer is really mixing things up! But also, is she ruining everything??!! Does she have a plan?!) Efficient, smart, and professional, Becky is incredibly good at her job. But when she strong-arms grumpy, decorated veteran journalist Mike Pomeroy (Harrison Ford) into filling the empty co-host spot, his obvious loathing of the job and the vitriol between him and Colleen cause the ratings to tank. Now, Becky has an ultimatum from the network: bring the ratings up in 6 weeks—or the show's 47-year run is over, and so is she.
If anyone is up to the challenge, Becky is. She has superb creative problem-solving skills (which come in handy), but her real gift is a rock-solid commitment to making it work. When one tactic fails, she tries another, and another, and another, until eventually she throws out the entire playbook. When you have nothing—and everything—to lose, you might as well try anything, right? Becky has a real knack for using absurd situations to bring out the best qualities in her team, and everyone is one board—except for Pomeroy. Convincing him to lighten up, and to do anything on air other than serious news stories, is her greatest challenge of all.
It's fun and inspiring to watch Becky work, and she's got me thinking. This week, I'm taking time to reflect on my year-to-date and reaffirm my goals for the rest of the year ahead of me.
Six months down, six months to go, people: how will you make the most of your 2019?
Happy Streaming! Grace