Directed by Roger Michell
Written by Aline Brosh McKenna
Young woman is a morning news television producer at a local station. Gets fired due to budget cuts, gets hired by a bottom dweller national morning show, attempts to turn it around, finds love? Purpose? Something? That is essentially the spoiler free version of the plot and quite frankly, it works, but only at times. It is directed by the director of Notting Hill and written by the writer of The Devil Wears Prada, both movies I enjoyed.
The strengths of the film definitely include the acting and the heart. The acting was probably the best part of the film, featuring the oh so attractive Rachel McAdams (who can have my heart any time she wants it), and the veterans Diane Keaton, Jeff Goldblum and Harrison Ford. McAdams plays the lead, Becky Fuller, with the right amount of spunk, zeal, and awkwardness. Harrison Ford does a good caricature of a washed up newsman who is grumpy to have to stoop to morning television. Diane Keaton does well to counteract the Ford character. And Jeff Golblum is just Jeff Goldblum, enough said for me anyway, though he has been better. The heart of the film was good and encouraging too. It basically was a heartwarming, hardworking, success story.
But the film has failings as well. Despite the good acting I found Diane Keaton and Jeff Goldblum wasted, given hardly anything to do. And on top of that you had the “relationship” Becky has with Patrick Wilson’s character, which should have either been left out, or given more to do because the relationship added absolutely nothing to the story. And as for the heart, while the filmmakers had good intentions, much of it felt manufactured to me. There was too much time spent in the second act and it wrapped up much too fast and much too tidy. So, while director Michell had good intentions, he did end up being slightly misguided. I also felt the cinematography was misguided as well. Undoubtedly DoP Kuchler is talented, but too many times it felt wrong what he was doing here. Absolutely he manages some great shots, but as few as they are they are also just as fleeting. It seemed he was trying to do more with the conventional back and forth close up than needed to be done and what resulted was not visually interesting.
The film had plenty of laughs, especially once it got going into the attempt to turn the show, Daybreak, around. It had plenty of heart, as manufactured as it may have been, and it had personalities worth watching. But in the end, what resulted could have been more in my eyes. The director and writer had good ideas, but their execution and final project end up being slightly disappointing. But hey, Rachel McAdams will always be worth it.