Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Quick Takes: Morning Glory, Due Date

The ever-adorable Rachel McAdams owns Morning Glory (2010), the latest film from the talented Roger Michell (Notting Hill, Changing Lanes). She plays a workaholic daytime TV producer whose life revolves solely around her career. Becky Fuller loves her line of work. She's one of those rare people who does exactly what they dreamed of growing up. She has no time for love, though the film does offer her a romantic tease in the form of Patrick Wilson. But the film does not dwell on that. Morning Glory is refreshingly not a rom-com in the traditional sense. Diane Keaton and Harrison Ford play seasoned anchors who give McAdams a hard time, while Jeff Goldblum is a welcome sight as her boss. Keaton doesn't have much to do, and I'm getting a little tired of Ford's trademark scowling and gruffness. But they both come through, veteran performers that they are. Make no mistake, though, it's McAdams's show all the way. She's the real star of this charming and funny movie. 3.5/5

Due Date (2010) just baffles me. I don't know what to make of it. I did not like the characters. The material is paper thin. The third act goes off the rails. It's overlong, even at 95 minutes. It made me miss Planes, Trains and Automobiles. Badly. But damn it all to hell -- I laughed. Out loud. Many times!! And I really hated myself for it. I have to give a lot of that credit to Robert Downey, Jr. Despite playing such an unlikeable brute, his comic timing and delivery is, as always, impeccable. Zach Galifianakis, a tiresome and grating presence, even made me chuckle too. Juliette Lewis, Danny McBride and Jamie Foxx are all welcome distractions from these mostly obnoxious guys. I don't like you, Due Date. But thanks for the laughs. 2.5/5

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