Rachel McAdams has been on the cusp of distinction in Hollywood, a fast-tracking It Girl with that rare combination of charm and chops, enough to have oddly relegated her thus far in career-stage limbo. Those in the know took note of her turn as the prototypical popular drama queen in Mean Girls back in 2004. Along the way, she's held her own opposite Russell Crowe (State of Play), Eric Bana (The Time Traveler’s Wife) and Robert Downey Jr. (Sherlock Holmes). And she’s doing it again in Morning Glory, her new film from director Roger Michell (Venus).
She’s a lot like her character, Becky, a hard-working television producer who moves to New York to take over a practically dead morning show on a cable network with incompatible anchors (Diane Keaton and Harrison Ford), an executive (Jeff Goldblum) above her looking only to transition from morning programming to syndicated crap and a budding relationship with a colleague (Patrick Wilson) in another department.
Becky can’t stop trying, she won’t stop giving it her all, and more importantly the audience will find itself doing everything it can to support her every step along the way, which is largely a testament to the full-on focus that McAdams invests in the character.
In a world where all performances are viewed equally, McAdams would be a highly touted possible Best Actress nominee for her effort here, which succeeds minus the blood, sweat and tears we’ve come to expect from Oscar winners. Morning Glory is a smooth-running dramedy, a warm, familiar story that audiences will recognize exactly for what it is and appreciate all the same, likely because it isn’t quite so heavy. And because it will be another one of those films with a performance from McAdams that will be featured in some list down the line, the one that ends with the glory she so richly deserves. Grade: B
Opens Nov. 10. Check out theaters and show times, see the trailer and get theater details here.