Bil’s rating (out of 5): 0.5. USA, 2010. Bad Robot, Goldcrest Pictures. Screenplay by Aline Brosh McKenna. Cinematography by Alwin H. Kuchler. Produced by J.J. Abrams, Bryan Burk. Music by David Arnold. Production Design by Mark Friedberg. Costume Design by Frank L. Fleming. Film Editing by Dan Farrell, Nick Moore, Steven Weisberg. Phoenix Film Critics Awards 2010.
Rachel McAdams is let go from her job producing a middling New Jersey morning news show and must find a way to keep her hand in the industry she loves so much. When the opportunity comes to take over producing a failing morning show in New York City, for a crumbling network whose ratings have been plummeting steadily, she immediately accepts and whips her new colleagues into shape. Now she must also find a new co-anchor for the bitter, unreasonable star of the show (Diane Keaton), and happens upon recently fired veteran television journalist Harrison Ford, a mean curmudgeon who believes that everything on morning television has nothing to do with anything he considers serious news. Now, McAdams must juggle her new job, impossible employees and a struggling new relationship with a gorgeous producer from a different floor (Patrick Wilson) and impress the boss enough to keep the show on the air. Sounds like the recipe for fun, a Broadcast News meets The Devil Wears Prada sort of thing, but aside from one hilarious sequence in the centre of the film where Matt Malloy becomes the show’s ridiculous daredevil, there’s absolutely nothing about this film that works. McAdams vacillates between neurotic or shrill depending on the scene, so desperate to be funny it’s almost embarrassing to watch her, while Keaton’s charming (and by now patented) quirkiness is shoved to the side in favour of Ford’s incredibly boring mumbling. The horrific screenplay badly juggles between the spheres of work and romance, unsure of whether or not the conflict is between the protagonist and her co-stars or with the responsibilities of her life, and in its uncertainty explores all possibilities and takes far too long to wrap up. It’s a dull comedy with very few laughs and even fewer points of interest, and should be completely avoided unless you really, really hate someone and want to make them suffer.