It’s a bummer that any given episode in a network show like “Lost,” even at its most muddled, was tighter and conveyed greater respect for the audience’s intelligence (even as, yes, it tested your everlasting patience) than the entirety of “Morning Glory.” Ms. McKenna, who adapted “The Devil Wears Prada” for the screen, arms this script with laugh-out-loud lines, only to undercut them with soggy filler involving Becky’s romance with another producer, Adam (Patrick Wilson), and her equally suspense-free relationship with her reluctant new anchor, the gruff and boozy Mike Pomeroy (Harrison Ford). The bland wall-to-wall pop songs — see Becky dress, cue “New Shoes” — drum the obvious home.
A few of Mr. Michell’s previous films, notably “The Mother”and “Enduring Love,” have had bite, unlike “Morning Glory,” which is so insistently, at times desperately, upbeat that it feels strung out on a cocktail of antidepressants and bad test-audience results.
Morning Glory isn’t terrible. It has a lot of craft, a lot of star power, and a fair number of laughs. What irks me is that the filmmakers settle for so little. They poke fun at Daybreak, at the whole artificial, shallow, self-satisfied genre of TV morning shows, yet they approach their own genre — the comic chick flick — with no more inspiration than the people who make those shows. They follow the formula, no matter how insipid and predictable, because they know their core audience won’t have anything else to do and it’s better if they’re only half awake.
Critics have obviously been jettisoned from newspapers over the last few years in much the same way that crusty older news guys like 's Mike Pomery, an old-school type, have been put out to pasture by TV networks. And so they're hardly snickering at Pomery's predicament. They're saying, "Hey, that's us!" They resent that presents Ford mainly as a grumpy, semi-alcoholic bear who doesn't get it, and not as a semi-good guy who represents an in-depth news tradition that's being slowly weakened or diminished... They feel that is basically embracing the modern media's general tendency to embrace fluff over substance, tweets over news articles and -type movie enthusiasts over critics with experience and taste with a background of serious study and decades of film-watching.