Over the weekend, we finally caught up with Morning Glory, the formulaic workplace comedy starring Rachel McAdams as an ambitious morning TV producer. She’s confronted with several obstacles as she tries to make her struggling morning news show succeed, while pursuing romance with a colleague (Patrick Wilson). The film is flat, a hodgepodge of moments rather than a thoughtful examination of workaholics or journalists, or even New Yorkers. There’s practically zero development on behalf of the narrative, or the characters. It’s a shame.
Director Roger Michell often does much better, elevating studio product to something smarter (as he did with Changing Lanes and Notting Hill) or dipping deep into some psychological conflict (as he did with The Mother and Enduring Love). Not so much here. The cast isn’t operating at a high level, either, save for one person: Harrison Ford. As the surly veteran TV newsman, Ford gives what is his strongest performance in years. He inhabits the role of anchor Mike Pomeroy with such a sarcastic and grouchy sense of dissatisfaction, there is something charming about his presence.
Considering it’s Ford, a man so often typecast he disappears in films, it’s just a joy to watch him give a performance instead of simply reciting dialogue. To many people my age, Harrison Ford’s career has been bittersweet. It’s great that he’s still working in high-profile projects, but we’ve resigned ourselves to watching a childhood hero go through the motions. What was the last Harrison Ford performance that we truly remember? The President in Air Force One (1997)? That was long ago, and so while Morning Glory is a forgettable piece of cinema, watch it for a rare glimpse of 21st century Harrison Ford greatness.