Writer Aline Brosh McKenna apparently couldn’t craft two funny lines in a row if someone held a gun to her head. Which is why her latest script, “Morning Glory,” is such a disappointment.
“Morning Glory” certainly has the other assets of a solid romantic comedy: a strong cast with unexpected chemistry, dealing with material that’s actually about something. So why doesn’t it work better? Because it’s never consistently witty.
Rachel McAdams, one of the cutest and most likable actresses working today, plays Becky Fuller, whose lifelong dream has been to produce the “Today” show. Instead, she winds up running the lowest-rated morning show in network TV at the lowly IBS.
But she hits the ground running – and has one big idea. She brings in in a crusty veteran anchorman, Mike Pomeroy (Harrison Ford) to co-host with the show’s long-time diva, Colleen Peck (Diane Keaton).
Director Roger Michell (“Notting Hill”) nearly makes it work, thanks to the aggressively likable McAdams and the ultra-crabby Ford, as the snooty news snob. They’ve got a fascinating friction that keeps this film watchable.
What it doesn’t have is sufficient wit. There’s no sense of the writing being honed or massaged to make it a little better. For McKenna – and Michell – close enough apparently was good enough.
But it’s not.
A love letter to Manhattan and the TV industry? No doubt.
But making a romantic comedy that suffers from a deficiency of actual comedy – that’s a serious problem.
And it denies the glory to “Morning Glory.”
* * (2 Stars ouf ot 5)