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Women That Give us Woodies – Rachel McAdams in “Morning Glory”

If you look at some of the Canadian actress Rachel McAdams’ earlier gawky, ugly duckling press photos, there’s nothing to even remotely suggest the 32 year-old dish that emerges on screen in “Morning Glory”.

Ordinarily I wouldn’t darken the doors of a chick flick, but my interest in the picture, which came out last week, was cultivated by this fetching black & white poster of Adams cradling herself almost fetally in a short skirt, drinking coffee and showing some major leg.

No, it isn’t a skin flick. I could only wish, but there are moments in the film when we get an eyeful of McAdams cavorting in panties and high heels. The dimple-faced McAdams plays awkward sexual moments very well, and that’s all part of her allure and turn on.

McAdams’ character is this effervescent go-getter who, as a morning TV show producer, is fired from one rinky dink job in New Jersey because of budget cutbacks and is about to lose another in big time New York because one, the show’s an industry joke mired in last place in the ratings; and two, the fogies who have a say in its running, kick and scream at every turn with her attempted innovations.

First day on the new job, McAdams is perceived as some really bad joke foisted upon the show’s beleaguered staff. Feeling her oats, she immediately cans the pompous male anchor after he wants to see her feet so he could shoot them for his website. He assures her the pics would be quite tasteful. As I’m sure they would be, though she doesn’t quite see it that way; and, so, in one ballsy strike, McAdams gains a load of allies but is left with a gaping hole in the lineup.

But through grit, gumption and a novel YouTube approach, McAdams succeeds and forces ultra cynical head guy Jeff Goldblum to re-evaluate plans to cancel the whole shebang for a game show.

So this is the film in a nutshell: youth is filled with hope and vitality, albeit naivete; while age, like the Coco’s Senior Citizen Special, has experienced the humiliation of life’s cruel footprints upon its back and reacts just plain mean and ornery to the idea of anything new.

And, yes, we have seen this formula in its many incarnations before, notably The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Murphy Brown. In fact Candice Bergen could have blended just as easily in the Diane Keaton role. Keaton plays one of those many former no-brain beauty queens who land a TV news job for their looks and are destined to die in their anchor seats until replaced by a younger template. [In fact, we’ve just seen it with Mary Hart.]

The fact that Keaton’s embittered is nothing compared to the fact that she’s about to be paired with Harrison Ford, a multi-award winning journalist who’s got more axes to grind than Attila the Hun.

Ford, who plays asshole convincingly well here, is McAdams’ pet reclamation project, and, as you might imagine, goes down kicking and screaming with equal doses of smirk, condescension and a tanning salon glow. Think Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino without the tan and coif, and this is Ford even to the same dismissive throat cancer-type growl. Once McAdams discovers his inner pain, she handles it with a wisdom way beyond her years.

In its marketing, the film is being compared to The Devil Wears Prada which is an insult to this film. In a perfect world, McAdams receives an Oscar nomination for her superb performance but probably won’t.

At AdultFYI we see good work for what it truly is and the fact that McAdams wears black pumps with the best of ‘em makes her our first hot chick pick in what will be a new series every weekend.


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