Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Morning Glory

When I first saw the trailers for Morning Glory, I actually assumed I would hate it. But then there was something about the reviews as they came in that intrigued me. Not enough to see it in theatres, but enough that I put it on my streaming queue when it became available on Netflix.

It surprised me, in a very good way. When Rachel McAdams' character Becky finally loses it in a job interview and begs the boss to take a chance on her and believe in her it hit pretty close to home for me.

What was refreshing for me was that the film seemed billed as a romantic comedy, or maybe just a standard "working woman" comedy. It seemed from all the commercials like it was going to follow the very specific line of plot that we've seen a million times before.

I don't think I realized until the end how much it wasn't actually following that course. This isn't a story about a frigid women finding love with the annoying guy she used to hate. It isn't a woman with a successful career discovering that she may have missed out on love just in time to save herself. Those elements are there, but they're all subverted in one way or another.

In the end, it was a film that took typical romantic comedy tropes and instead applied them to a relationship between a boss and her older employee (Harrison Ford's aging news reporter). Not in a romantic way, at all, they don't fall in love. Sure, there's a romantic subplot for Becky with the hunky producer at the more prestigious news magazine show. They go through most of the steps too, but in at a very sub-plot level.

I normally try not to pick apart the lessons that we learn from movies aimed at women. They're usually very boring and not my style. Finding a man to take care of you is more important than following your dreams kind of stuff. But I think looking at the lessons of Morning Glory is actually worthwhile. I am not all surprised to see the film was written by a woman, but I'm very glad to see that the sensibility of the story stayed intact.