[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/BroadcastNews.jpg]]

->'''Tom''': ''"You're an amazing woman. What a feeling, having you inside my head."''
->'''Jane''': ''"Yeah, it was an unusual place to be."''
->'''Tom''': ''"It's, like, indescribable. You knew just when to feed me the next line the second before I needed it. There was a rhythm we got into. It was like great sex."''

A 1987 comedy-drama written, directed, and produced by Creator/JamesLBrooks, '''''Broadcast News''''' tells the tale of three television newspeople who get tangled in a LoveTriangle. At one vertex, producer Jane Craig (Creator/HollyHunter) leads her life in chronic emotional meltdown because of her obsessive-compulsive character. She's sexually attracted to but professionally repulsed by Tom Grunick (Creator/WilliamHurt), a simple reporter who landed his job solely on good looks and charisma. He only survives on live TV because Jane feeds him everything he needs to say through an earpiece. Meanwhile, the brilliant Aaron Altman (Creator/AlbertBrooks) dreams of reporting evening news but his un-telegenic looks hold him back both from his ambitions and his crush on Jane.

All three share a [[MarriedToTheJob slavish devotion to their work]]; even Tom, ever aware of his low intelligence, wishes to someday cover a story without Jane's help. As Creator/RogerEbert describes: "After Hunter whispers into Hurt's earpiece to talk him through a crucial live report on a Middle East crisis, he kneels at her feet and says it was like sex, having her voice inside his head. He never gets that excited about sex. Neither does she." Indeed, it's only because their romance gets tied up in the workplace's questions of journalistic standards and integrity that Jane, Tom, and Aaron's LoveTriangle gets tenser and tenser.

Watching this character knot unravel is exciting due to both strong performances by the lead actors and an excellent screenplay by Brooks. He frequently shifts from comedy to drama but his dialogue always shimmers: it's hard not to laugh at Jane and Tom's good-natured flirting on the one hand, while when Aaron presses Tom on his ignorance of basic world affairs the discomfort hangs like a dagger in the air. ''Broadcast News'' kept low profile but was universally praised by critics, getting four stars from Creator/RogerEbert and fifth place in Creator/GeneSiskel's favorite films of 1987.
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!!Tropes:
* AnAesop: The film is a searing indictment of declining news reporting standards. Over 20 years later, it looks more prescient than ever.
-->''(on [[spoiler:faking tears for a news item]])''
-->'''Jane:''' You can get fired for things like that.
-->'''Tom:''' I've been ''promoted'' for things like that.
* AmbiguouslyJewish: Aaron.
* BittersweetEnding
* BookEnds: The film begins with [[AMinorKidroduction vignettes of the three main characters in childhood]], and [[DistantFinale ends with them seven years after the events of the movie]] (Although they do not look appreciably aged in that scene).
* DateRape: One of the centerpiece stories is Hurt's report on date rape. He interviews a woman who shares her experience, and at least on camera is so moved that he begins to cry. Hunter sees the report and senses that Hurt's emotions aren't all what they seem to be.
* DeadpanSnarker: Aaron, ''in spades''.
-->'''Aaron:''' Can you believe it? I just risked my life for a network that tests my face with ''focus groups''. ''({{beat}})'' I don't feel good.
* [[spoiler: DidNotGetTheGirl:]] [[spoiler:No one in the movie winds up with anyone. Seven years later and Jane is in a serious relationship with someone else, Aaron is married to someone else, and Tom is engaged to someone else.]] And yet it doesn't seem like it was intended to be depressing.
* DistantFinale: The last scene is set seven years after the end of the narrative.
* DoingItForTheArt: Creator/JackNicholson, who plays network anchor Bill Rorish, not only accepted the role for no money, but ''specifically'' requested that he not appear in the trailer, the opening credits, or any advertisements or promotions for the film because he did not want to take attention away from Hunter, Hurt and Brooks.
* DrowningMySorrows: Aaron
* HandOrObjectUnderwear: Jennifer Mack uses an oversize pillow as this after having sex with Tom.
* HypocriticalHumor: When Aaron drops in on Jane as she's preparing for the correspondents' dinner she's attending with Tom.
-->'''Aaron:''' Could you at least ''pretend'' that this is an awkward situation for you? Me showing up while you're getting ready for this date?
-->'''Jane:''' [scoffs] It's not a date! It's coworkers going to a professional conclave! [takes a box of condoms out of a paper bag and slips it into her purse]
* IResembleThatRemark / WorthyOpponent: Subverted, slightly.
-->'''Tom:''' I'm going to miss you... you're a prick in a good way... I'm sorry.
-->'''Aaron:''' No, I liked how that made me sound.
* InsufferableGenius: Aaron and Jane. Jane is aware of her pushiness, however.
** Well, mostly, anyway.
--->'''Paul:''' [[SarcasmMode It must be nice to always believe you know better, to always think you're the smartest person in the room.]]
--->'''Jane:''' ''(sincerely)'' [[SarcasmBlind No. It's awful.]]
* {{Jerkass}}: Tom, arguably, especially on multiple viewings.
** Aaron too, more often than not. His response to Tom doing a report on date rape is to make a snarky comment about how Tom had "blown the lid off nookie".
--->'''Tom:''' You're a prick in a good way... ''({{beat}})'' I'm sorry.
--->'''Aaron:''' No, I liked how that made me sound.
** Jane sends a romantic rival off to Alaska so she can get closer to Tom.
* KarmaHoudini: Even after the other main characters discover it, Tom never suffers any negative consequences from [[spoiler:manipulating a rape victim and orchestrating a piece to get himself promoted]]. Even Aaron and Jane [[EasilyForgiven seem pretty quick to pardon him.]]
* LoveTriangle: Between Jane, Tom, and Aaron.
* AMinorKidroduction: The first scenes show the three major characters as children.
-->'''Young Tom:''' What can you do with yourself if all you do is ''look good''?
-->'''Caption:''' [[AnswerCut Future Network Anchorman]]
* PullTheThread: Used by Aaron to get Tom to admit he doesn't know the members of the presidential cabinet.
* ScrewTheRulesImBeautiful: Tom advances in TV news on his looks despite never going to college and not knowing current events. Jennifer Mack appears to be an example of this as well.
* ShownTheirWork: Writer/director James L. Brooks began his career working for Creator/{{CBS}} News; he did additional field research during the 1984 U.S. Presidential campaign, and in an interview with ''The Atlantic'' admitted he modeled Jane partially on CBS producer Susan Zirinsky. It's still one of the most true-to-life portrayals of life in the TV news industry.
* SirNotAppearingInThisTrailer: Jack Nicholson.
* SmallNameBigEgo: Subverted the hell out of. Tom ''knows'' he's coasting on his appearance. He still knows all of the tricks that Aaron doesn't know.
* SmugSnake: Bill Rorich.
* SoBeautifulItsACurse: Tom in a rare male example. As a child he resents being hit on by the waitresses in a restaurant.
-->'''Young Tom:''' I don't even know what they mean - "Beat them off with a stick"?
* WhatTheHellHero: [[spoiler:Tom pretended to cry just so that they could film his reaction and be praised for his emotional interview with a rape victim.]]
-->'''Jane:''' It made me... '''ILL'''.
* StrawmanNewsMedia: The vapidity and shallowness of TV news is highlighted.
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