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Film / Morning Glory

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For some reason, guys like the film, too. (It's probably the Oasis Shout-Out.)

A 2010 comedy/romance film directed by Roger Michell, starring Rachel McAdams, Harrison Ford, Diane Keaton, Jeff Goldblum, and Patrick Wilson.

At the start of the film, Becky Fuller (McAdams) is fired from her job as the producer of a morning television talk show in New Jersey. She takes a pay cut to work for a different morning show called Daybreaknote  on the fictional IBS network in New York. Daybreak has terrible ratings and is headed for cancellation unless Becky, and the oddball employees that work for her, can make the program a success. She also ends up in a relationship with another producer (Wilson), but her workaholic attitude is constantly preventing her from having any sort of a normal life.

The main focus of the movie is Becky's relationship with one of her favorite news broadcasters (Ford), who has been forced to work on her cheery morning show even though he is accustomed to hard-hitting journalism. He begrudges the assignment and plays the part of the cranky old man who drives Becky up the wall with his antics and general grumpy attitude.

The film opened to positive reviews and moderate success.

Co-produced by J. J. Abrams, of all people. Not to be confused with the 1933 Katharine Hepburn film of the same name.

This film contains examples of:

  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking:
    • Mike comes on the set and declares: "I've won eight Peabodies, a Pulitzer, sixteen Emmys, I was shot through the forearm in Bosnia, pulled Colin Powell from a burning jeep, laid a cool washcloth on Mother Teresa's forehead during a cholera epidemic, had lunch with Dick Cheney." Becky takes him down a peg by responding "You're here for the money."
    • A variant is seen in how Adam describes Mike as the third worst person in the world. The other two are Kim Jong-Il... and Angela Lansbury. ("She knows what she did.")
  • Beware the Nice Ones: After weeks of tolerating Mike's boorish behavior, Becky finally lets loose with both barrels.
  • Blithe Spirit: Becky, who refuses to crack under Mike's antics and attitude, or the warring co-stars.
  • Brainless Beauty: The airheaded Asian co-host won her job on the merits of her sleeping with Goldblum's boss character.
  • Broken Pedestal: Becky has idolized Mike all her life, so she's rather shocked to discover what a neurotic, pompous ass he is.
  • Butt-Monkey: Ernie the weatherman is placed into increasingly dangerous segments so the audience can howl with laughter as he screams. When Becky arranges for him to ride "The Manhandler" on live TV, Ernie spends most of the uphill climb commenting on the cumulous clouds, puzzling Mike. Then the roller coaster hits its first dip.
  • The Cake Is a Lie: Wily Mike dupes Becky into filming the Governor's arrest by pretending to cover the annual Sauerkraut Festival in upstate New York (although she ultimately gets even more excited by what he's really up to).
    Becky: You baited me with sauerkraut! That's so low.
  • The Cameo:
    • Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson, Lloyd Banks and Tony Yayo.
    • Mike interviews ex-Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice at the start of the film.
  • Casual Kink: The presiding anchor on Daybreak introduces himself to Becky by offering to photograph her feet for his privately-run website. Eeeegh.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Mike's cookery talents.
  • Chick Flick: It's really about Becky's life as a whole, and the romance is a minor part of the story — but it's still mostly a "girls' night" sort of flick.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Becky is one of these (her first date in the film certainly thinks so), but it's charming.
  • The Comically Serious: In his first broadcast, Mike summons a thundercloud over Colleen's cheery repartee.
  • Cool Old Guy: Harrison Ford really defines this trope in this movie.
  • Corrupt Politician: The Governor who Mike films the arrest of.
  • Cue the Sun: Cleverly uses a sunrise shot to close the film - which is very apt as it is about a morning TV show - and watching protagonists walk into a sunrise is that much more interesting than seeing them ride off into the sunset.
  • Deconstruction: The film is structured like a romantic comedy but the romcom tropes are played out through the development of the strictly platonic relationship between Becky and Mike (complete with a Race for Your Love in the climax). The actual romance between Becky and Adam is a subplot that proceeds with minimal drama and is actually quite realistic in depicting how two professionals dedicated to their careers have to figure out how to make room for a relationship.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Diane Keaton's character, Colleen Peck, does this well.
  • Determined Expression: Becky sports an epic one at times.
  • The Ditz: A young woman who got her job by sleeping with the boss. "The Rock changed his name to Dwayne Johnson," seriously?
  • Establishing Character Moment: Becky is shown bumbilng around the studio like a classic clumsy romcom protagonist. Then she shows that she isn't fazed at all by the high-pressure work environment and deals with a half-dozen crises in short order before calmly and firmly firing the creepy anchor.
  • Family Versus Career: Or romance versus career. For once, both male and female characters are shown to be struggling with this, though it's not the main focus of the story.
  • Fat Suit: Colleen takes a turn at sumo wrestling in one of these.
  • Gleeful and Grumpy Pairing: Becky and Mike behind Daybreak, Colleen and Mike in front of it. (the latter's case is even exploited, as the crew notices viewers like their bickering)
  • Grumpy Old Man: Mike Pomeroy.
    "You're in the News Department, you cretin! News is a sacred temple. And you are part of the cabal that's ruining it with horseshit!!"
  • Informed Judaism: One of Becky's colleagues, which makes for a funny moment when he gets nervous enough before a dubious emission to cross himself.
    Becky: Okay ... the Jewish guy's crossing himself ... so we're confident, right?
  • Ironic Echo: "Fluffy", a word Mike refuses to say on the air until the end to show his commitment to the show.
  • Jerkass Has a Point:
    • Mike is an old school television journalist who hates how modern news programs, including Daybreak, rely on sensationalism and fluff at the expense of real informative news. He believes that there is still a large audience for such content and it could help make the show more successful. He winds up proven right when Mike films the arrest of the corrupt governor live and Daybreak's ratings soar as a result.
    • Ironically, Becky herself believes this from the beginning but Miek seems to brush her off when she suggests it.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Both Mike and Jerry are often abrasive and uncooperative but ultimately show some respect for Becky.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: Any time Becky puts on a Determined Expression, you're in for some serious fireworks.
  • Loophole Abuse: While pouring over Mike's contract, which requires the network to continue to pay him even while he's not working, Becky discovers that he cannot refuse an anchor position if the network (i.e. herself) offers to re-hire him. If he does then he has broken the contract, and the network can cut him off.
  • Married to the Job: Becky has difficulty talking about anything but work on a date and gets up in the middle of the night to check for news stories. She eases up a bit after Mike warns her that he was the same way when he was younger and it wound up destroying his family and personal life.
  • Mean Boss:
    • Who knew Jeff Goldblum could play such a prick?
    • Mike Pomeroy (Harrison Ford's character) used to call his assistant "Senor Dipshit". The assistant (Becky's boyfriend) retaliates by telling everyone that Mike is "the third worst person in the world".
  • Meaningful Echo: A blizzard of them during the climatic scene with Mike in the studio kitchen. In a gesture to Becky, he turns to the camera and proclaims the eggs "fluffy" — the adjective he refused to say on TV earlier. He ends the segment with a teaser for his doughnut recipe next week; He had earlier described Becky and her ilk to peddling nothing but "sugar" to the public.
  • Misplaced-Names Poster: Source of the page's image, as the two first two billed (Rachel McAdams and Harrison Ford) are shown inverted to their names.
  • Nerds Are Sexy: Becky is a news junkie and a spaz...who's played by Rachel McAdams.
  • Newscaster Cameo: Becky catches Mike going on a bender with Chris Matthews, Bob Schieffer, and Morley Safer in a bar.
  • The Not-Love Interest: Becky and Mike, complete with a Third-Act Misunderstanding and a touching Race for Your Love moment at the end.
  • Not What It Looks Like: Becky and Mike have a "not what it sounds like" moment the morning after she pulled him out of a bar and guarded him all night to make sure he wasn't too drunk to appear on Daybreak.
    Mike: She spent the night at my place.
    (Everybody stares)
    Becky: Guys, c'mon! I slept on the couch.
    Mike: Until I woke her up with my ... African rain stick.
    (Everybody giggles)
  • Oblivious to Love: Becky, who lampshades this cheerfully when explaining to her suitor why she ran out on their previous date.
  • Precision F-Strike: Colleen, after telling Becky how sorry she is that Mike Pomeroy turned down the co-anchor job and how she would have welcomed him with open arms, sees the man himself walk into the studio and welcomes him with one of these.
  • Pretty Fly for a White Guy: Colleen performs "Candy Shop" with 50 Cent.
  • Race for Your Love: The climax parodies this trope by Mike making a declaration of love through the TV by willingly participating in a cooking segment and saying the word "fluffy" on camera. Becky then joyfully runs across New York (in slow motion, no less) to get back to IBS to share a caring smile with Mike as he completes the segment and promises to do a donut demo the next day.
  • Real Men Cook: Mike is shown to be a skilled cook and waxes poetical about frittata.
  • Recycled In Space: The Sunshine Boys turned into a film revolving around veteran anchormen.
  • Running Gag:
    • Becky isn't strong enough to open double doors, and has to put all of her weight into it every time.
    • The studio's door knobs constantly come apart in Becky's hands.
    • "No, I'm not going to sing!"
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: The ending shows Mike and Colleen patching up their differences — with an impromptu shagging in the dressing room.
  • Smash Cut:
    Becky: Do you have any preexisting conditions?
    Colleen: Are you kidding? Look at me. I'm a rock!
    [cut to Colleen getting pummeled by a sumo wrestler]
  • Smoking Is Cool: Mike lights up a cigar after throwing the Governor to the wolves.
  • Squee: Becky has a particularly loud one after getting the job at Daybreak, scaring off a flock of pigeons and gaining the attention of everyone in the courtyard.
  • Tar and Feathers: One ratings stunt Becky suggests is having Arnie tarred and feathered on the anniversary of the Boston Tea Party.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Co-hosts Mike and Colleen, who hate each other but have to pretend to be civil in front of the camera... until it turns out that incivility actually ups the ratings. Hello, not so veiled barbs!
  • This Is My Chair: Mike and Colleen can't agree over who gets to sign off. And it just goes downhill from there.
  • This Just In!: Mike's surprise exposé, calculated to show up his bosses and remind the world that he's a great reporter. He interrupts Colleen's broadcast to film the arrest of the Governor on fraud charges.
  • Too Kinky to Torture: Non-sexual variant: when Becky starts putting her colleague Arnie through more and more crazy stunts to boost the ratings (rollercoasters, parachutes etc.) he is surprised to find he enjoys it (Colleen dismisses this by claiming he's a shameless hack).
  • Very Loosely Based on a True Story: The plot calls to mind Bryant Gumbel and Katie Couric's vitriolic relationship on The Today Show in The '90s. Mike makes snide references to Colleen's getting a pap smear on live TV; this is a jibe at Couric televising her own colonoscopy.
  • Volleying Insults: Becky encourages Mike and Colleen's venomous exchanges in order to drive up ratings.