Chick Flick Check List: ‘Morning Glory’

Here are Crushable, we’ve created the Chick Flick Check List to help you navigate the difficult terrain of the films aimed toward woman. These movies may  not be Oscar caliber material, but when you’re in need of shoe porn or pretty faces, they can be just the trick. Follow our guidelines to decide whether this week’s film is up your alley.

Today’s Flick is Morning Glory, the story of a young upstart (Rachel McAdams) who gets a job at a fictional network called IBS and is tasked with rebooting a terrible morning show hosted by an impossibly perky woman (Diane Keaton) and a grumpy old man (Harrison Ford). Sadly, we can’t explain why the producers decided to name their fictional news network after irritable bowel syndrome. But we can help you decide whether to shell out to $12.50 to see Rachel McAdams’ latest movie in theaters.

First things first: Are you looking for a good cry or a potential father figure?

Morning Glory’s Check List Ranking:  68

Our Check List ranks movies based on ten different criteria that are each worth a total of 10 points. The scale tops out at 100. To give you a reference, a classic like Breakfast at Tiffany’s might rank at 97. Check specific categories for your main interest.

Likability of the lead: 9/10
Rachel McAdams’s skill at making any dialogue convincing is pretty much unparalleled in Hollywood right now. She’s the best thing about just about every movie she’s ever been in. The Family Stone anyone? Maybe this means her agent needs to pick better scripts. But also, Rachel is pretty great at the neurotic lead here.

Morning Glory centers around a dwindling morning show, with Diane Keaton as the workhorse co-host who has perserved through years of terrible and incompetent writing and directors. But Rachel takes a movie that could have been pretty painful to watch, and makes it rather enjoyable, actually.

Plot/Script: 6/10

There’s nothing surprising at work here. And Morning Glory doesn’t quite get to the level of news focused movies like Network or Broadcast News, but it does manage to make working for a morning news show look interesting. Bonus!

Chemistry Between The Leads: 8/10

Patrick Wilson and Rachel McAdams do pretty well together. Patrick is clearly pretty enough to succeed as the boringly cute role he’s given. But the real magic in this movie takes place between Rachel and Harrison Ford. They do really well together. Harrison Ford is an excellent grouchy pedagogue, and their begrudging friendship is great, if predictable. But mostly, I need to give credit to the writers’ restrain. Creating a romantic link between them would have been easy. And terrible.

Chance of wringing tears out of viewers: 5/10

Unless you’ve got a soft spot for cinematic daddy issues, there’s not too much to get sappy about here.

Wardrobe: 5/10

For some reason, Rachel McAdams’ hair in this movie seems to be adhering to the Peter Principle.  That’s the workplace law that states “in a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to their level of incompetence.” As her character Becky excels at her job and sparks a relationship with Patrick Wilson, Rachel’s hair and wardrobe steadily improve. Until they reach the highest level of their ability. And then things get bad fast.

Towards the end, Becky goes on a job interview wearing a flowy silk dress and terrible pink heels. Also, there’s a reunion scene with Patrick Wilson where she wears a horrible, horrible wig. Maybe the producers needed to do reshoots. But seriously. That wig is bad news.

Plot Believability: 7/10

It’s a little hard to believe that a smart, attractive girl in 2010 would be obsessed with the morning news. More annoying? A late scene where Becky gets a coveted interview at The Today Show and schedules the meeting during a taping of her own show. Even worse? The NBC execs meet her in a room full of TVs so she can watch her show and run across town in a quasi-touching reunion scene.

Supporting Cast: 9/10

In addition to Harrison Ford and Diane Keaton, who both pull more than their share as name brand heavyweights, you’ve got Jeff Goldblum showing up to lighten up events whenever they start to drag. All of them do nice work with what they’re given, and make an otherwise mundane movie quite easy to watch.

Food/Real Estate Porn: 5/10

There are almost no food items on display here. Save for Harrison Ford’s dressing room fruit plate. Morning Glory does however try pretty hard to get some big New York landmarks in the film. And this is probably just our own bias. But Schiller’s Liquor Bar just isn’t a midtown after work bar on Madison Avenue. Why you gotta play that game, TV news movie?

Male Eye Candy:  8/10

Patrick Wilson is a pretty man. His character is almost so perfect so as to completely lacking in personality. But he sure is pretty.

Children, pets and other scene stealers: 6/10

There aren’t any kids or wise old people in this movie. But I’m giving a few extra points to Rachel McAdams’ ass for its impressive character work. Rachel may not be ready to be topless in film, but she’s more than happy to oblige with some key underwear scenes here.  And while that ass may not get a screen credit, it does double duty trying to keep males attentive during a movie full of power suits and button downs.

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    • Palmer Huff