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David Poland

By David Poland

Review: Morning Glory

It’s okay.

So here is the thing about Morning Glory… the script is a muddled mess. But there are strong indications that the muddle came from development and more specifically, from choices made after casting.

Rachel McAdams takes a movie star role for a change. I see a lot of stuff that she built into a vanilla character. She took the star vehicle and made it into a character role. Excellent. (And by the way, Ms McAdams now has a grown woman’s ass, throws it around uncovered in the film a few times, and is a sexier adult than she was a kid… even though the film seems to want to objectify Patrick Wilson more than her.) Roger Michell shoots rom-com as though it is more than rom-com. Excellent. Performances are uniformly very good, particularly Jeff Goldblum’s near-cameo.

But when you finally – and God, it takes a long while – get to the third act, you discover either what the movie was originally designed as… or what it could have been had the direction that was taken in the third act actually been in play through the entire film. Essentially, it’s Harrison Ford as the father figure to this hard-charging, ever ready with a pep talk, upbeat girl with a dream. And instead of allowing the first act to be the set up and then to play with this relationship through the second and third acts, the film tries to fit everything in… everything.

Diane Keaton is terrific in this role… but you get the feeling that she was the last piece of casting, a great female star who would add to the marquee… but the character she plays is not nearly as important to the story as McAdams or Ford… and there is nothing she can do about that. However, my guess is that they built her character up a bit and this left the film unbalanced. The alternate scenario is that is was a 3-person piece and that Harrison Ford’s rewrite ideas – he always has them – unbalanced the ship. But either way, the movie meanders for a long time, often in some very funny and/or charming moments.

You see, the movie is not about McAdams and her budding relationship with studly Patrick Wilson. It’s not about the frustrated female anchor of the morning show who just wants to have a chance to feel good about the job for a change. It’s not about a team of supporting players who finally come together to make the show a success in spite of the obnoxious anchors.

The big moment of the film…


… is when the hard-bitten Pulitzer-winning newsman played by Harrison Ford decides that the young pup producer shows promise to be more than just another idiot and deserves a chance to succeed… something he has the power to make happen in his hands.

The key line is, “He’s only going to ask you once.”

This is a romantic line from many rom-coms. But here, it’s not about romance… it’s bro-mance, even though it’s between a man and a woman. There is no sexual tension in the relationship, so it has that bro-manitic thing where two equals share a deep truth. She could have had the same thing with the Keaton character, but she doesn’t, which again, shows how secondary that character is. Keaton’s great, but a Holland Taylor would have been more fitting to the balance of the film.


The heart of this film shoulda/coulda been McAdams, deeply connected to classic TV news, but forced to pander in Morning Show World because that is the only place she can get a job, a little lost in the pandering, perhaps forgetting what really makes her happy. Ford is the symbol of excellence and a lost generation of news thinkers. He’s lost his job and his sense of perspective as well. Paring the two up will be rocky, but they will fight and give up and fight some more to find a balance that allows him self-respect and raises her to the top of a generation that can barely remember when The News was THE NEWS.

But it’s not that.

The strongest run of laughs in the film takes place when McAdams’ Becky gets desperate and promotes on-air bickering and dangerous stunts by the geeky weatherman. That’s the movie that’s set up. But it’s not any more satisfying than the laughs because there’s not much over that hill… except a happy rom-com ending. The film then reaches for more… and it’s like some other movie starts. And that movie isn’t terribly satisfying either, since you just wasted more than an hour on something else that doesn’t feel connected to what starts to happen. And by the way, its in that third act when Michell starts shooting the movie like a movie… some really beautiful images that establish character without words in there.

So… I don’t know who deserves the blame. This could have been a Working Girl or a NextGen Broadcast News in which Aaron has to face the reality that he can be a star if he is willing to find a way to live with compromise, still raising the bar overall, and not just hiding in Portland (I think it was Portland.) Or it could have just been 27 Dresses in a TV morning show. Did Ford raise the bar for his character too high? Did they expand Diane Keaton roles to fit a star and unbalance the boat? Could it really have been this much of a mess as a screenplay that all these people signed on to make?

it’s still a step above much of the brain-damaged Chick Flick crap that’s out there. But it could have been a contender. They were close. But close is worse, really, than just being the perfect version of something lesser. The movie almost mocks the audience, teasing us with the possibilities for something special.

But we’ll always have McA…

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47 Responses to “Review: Morning Glory”

  1. Krillian says:

    Wells liked it more than you, but I’m just encouraged that Ford’s in what may be his best movie since What Lies Beneath.

    (I know, I know, you haven’t read Wells for 4-5 years…)

  2. David Poland says:

    But seriously… what does Wells opinion have to do with anything?

  3. Has Harrison Ford chance for nomintion to Golden Globe?

  4. NickF says:

    I like McAdams and I don’t mind seeing Ford in a somewhat asshole-ish role. I’ll see it on video at some point.

  5. Josh_A says:

    Dargis, Ebert, Zacharek, Nunziata, and McWeeny all liked it, so I might give it a shot this weekend.

    The Devil Wears Prada had elements that didn’t work (every scene involving Grenier’s boyfriend character), and I still enjoyed that well enough.

  6. LexG says:

    McADAMS POWER. I liked her ass better before though.

    I know Leahnz is our only female regular and she ignores me, but can I ask something Poland hints at:

    Is PATRICK WILSON really considered a “sexy” or appealing guy to women? He must be, the way he gets cast and the roles he gets, but he always reminds me of a lanky Mark Paul Gosselar, basically Zack Morris with Craig Kilborn’s physique and Josh Lucas’s pre-rug hair loss. He’s a GOOD actor, but he has this MODINE-ian Caucasian blandness, I always wish I were watching someone sleazier or tougher or smarmier. I must be way wrong on this, but I’d be interested if women actually think he’s a “cool” guy.

    He seems too… genial.

  7. Edward Havens says:

    McAdams’s ass is much better now than it was six or seven years ago. I suspect Lex is just unhappy that one of his young lusts is growing up.

    As for the film, I guess I will catch it one night, if only to see how far we’ve come from Network and, to a lesser extent, Broadcast News. And for McAdams’s ass.

  8. leahnz says:

    “There is no sexual tension in the relationship…”

    god i should hope not, he’s like 100 and she’s 12. the mere mention of such a possibility is rather icky

    oh, and i actually thought it hilarious that DP calls patrick wilson “studly”

  9. BillA says:

    I couldn’t suspend my disbelief watching this film. Charming at times, it was ridiculous, silly, low-brow entertainment, and I especially didn’t like that it seemed to promote the dumbing down of TV news as a way to success and everyone, including Harrison Ford (has he lost his voice or had a stroke, or is he just stoned?), has sold out whatever journalistic integrity they ever had to stay employed on this vapid show. McAdams was gorgeous, but Diane Keaton was too “Miranda Priestly” and Patrick Wilson was too “Christian Thompson.” I mean, it was bad enough how formulaic it was, but it almost seems like the screenwriter just made some revisions to her “Devil Wears Prada” script and slapped on new title.

  10. LexG says:

    “McAdams’s ass is much better now than it was six or seven years ago. I suspect Lex is just unhappy that one of his young lusts is growing up.”

    If we’re going to indulge this awesome topic, McAdams has a JOLIE PASS from the Lexman, also known as THE WATTS EXEMPTION (coming soon to a bookstore near you), by which my usual 17-24 preference is OUT THE WINDOW when a woman is as beautiful, elegant and AWESOME as McAdams, Jolie, Naomi Watts, Christina Aguilera, ETC.

    But the fact that McHotams is somehow now 32 is a little strange; She’s aging, numerically, like Nick Stahl, who skipped from being 11 to being 35 with no stop in between. Wasn’t Rachel playing high school kids FIVE YEARS AGO? Now she’s my age? That’s odd. But again, she’s one of the world’s ten hottest women, so YEP YEP.

    But on to this ASS matter. I am a white guy. Some may have noticed this. I don’t get, AT ALL, this thing where black dudes or even some white dudes are all into BOOTY. AT ALL. I like thin Caucasian women with a nice KRISTEN STEWART style ass. That is my preference. I don’t get this whole J LO giant Norbit butt that so many guys want. All that curves! and “cushion!” and “I want something to hold onto!” always sounds vaguely like bullshit, because ROCK STARS and LEO DICAPRIO, the two HIGH WATER MARKS of FEMALE SCORING, always always go for lanky, thin, not-very-curvy supermodels. Leo seems to be doing just fine without some GIANT BOOTY.

  11. LexG says:

    Rachel McAdams in MORNING GLORY.

    More like MORNING WOOD.




  12. David Poland says:

    Leah… the movie obsesses on him as an object.

  13. LexG says:




    6 also in a tie) MCADAMS POWER.

    I hope she shows her feet.

  14. leahnz says:

    the christmas tree commenting/branching reply thingee is gone, when did that happen?

    “Roger Michell shoots rom-com as though it is more than rom-com.”

    oh dear, not again (i was only able to skim this review before)

    how exactly is ‘rom-com’ supposed to be shot, and what exactly are the confines of depicting romance and comedy on film? so when a romantic comedy is shot well, it’s not good romantic comedy, but rather “more” than a rom-com? what nonsense. romance and comedy in film encompasses a wide swath of film style from light to dark including diverse elements such as drama, action, satire, etc, and has a long, proud cinema tradition; there is no one way to ‘shoot’ romance/comedy any more than there is one way to shoot any other genre of film. saying “as though it is more than rom-com” is condescending just for the sake of it, betraying the absurd prejudice against romantic comedy often used (most commonly by men) to belittle films that tend to skew more to female tastes, conveniently holding up the most trite, poorly made examples of the genre in a lazy attempt define the ENTIRE genre, which shows lack insight and knowledge, and is frankly just nasty and dumb.

    there are poor movies in EVERY genre, and great movies in every genre. poor sci-fi movies don’t define the sci-fi genre; poor drama doesn’t define drama as a genre, any more than poor romantic comedy defines the romance comedy genre; and yet you’d never know it by the double-standards and bizarre gaps in memory leveled at and applied to the analysis of romantic comedy on film.

    “it’s still a step above much of the brain-damaged Chick Flick crap that’s out there…”

    more of the same. where’s all the commentary on “brain-damaged dick flicks”? can’t recall any such patronizing sexist language in other reviews, and it most certainly isn’t because there aren’t any poor dick flicks out there – seeing as the overwhelming majority of movies are told from the male perspective and a great many of them are dumber than a sack of hair. what could be the reason for this glaring double standard i wonder?

    more and more the reviews here sound like they’re written for silly boys rather than adults of both genders.

  15. actionman says:

    it was fluffy entertainment, nothing more, nothing less.

  16. Hallick says:

    Fluffy entertainment done well would be more than most.

  17. David Poland says:

    Leah, not sure that it makes much sense to engage you on this. You seem to be in denial about genre and studio conventions, at least when it comes to crap made for female audiences.

    When a film rises above convention, I am more than happy to treat it as more than a genre effort. But that’s not really okay with you, so… I am at a loss about how to engage you without it being a fight I’ve already lost in your mind.

    And I make comment on “brain addled dick-flicks” often… they just tend to involve the word “geek” instead of your spin on Chick Flick. My insincere apologies for not being able to keep my pejoratives PC enough for you.

  18. IOv3 says:

    Leah it went away because it was unnecessary, but you know what is not unnecessary? EMOTICONS :D! :D! :D! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

    Now, brain addled dick flicks? What the fuck? Comparing them to films that geeks may like? What the fuck? Seriously, a good rom com is something like Notting Hill. It’s rather obvious that most of the shit coming out for women these days, is not as good as a Notting Hill.

  19. anghus says:

    “Could it really have been this much of a mess as a screenplay that all these people signed on to make?”

    i was under the impression that Harrison Ford didn’t read scripts. As long as you paid him his non negotiable fee, he would do your movie.

  20. David Poland says: “But seriously…what does Wells opinion have to do with anything?”

    David, you FUCKING ASSHOLE. I show you respect morning, noon and night, pointing to your more amusing posts and linking to you when you’ve written something good and/or true, and you turn around and write what you wrote. YOU FUCKING PIG.

  21. tommy five-tone says:

    Jeez, Wells, lighten the fuck up. He wasn’t necessarily saying your opinion was worthless, just that it wasn’t relevant to this conversation. It’s not like you two are joined at the hip, and your take on something can only be measured by his.

  22. Joe Popcorn says:

    “Interesting, thoughtful, well-phrased opinions of any kind are eternally welcome here. But the uglies, mark my words, are getting the boot.
    I believe in beauty, redemption, catharsis and the daily cleansing of the soul. I live for the highs of the mind — for the next nervy retort, impertinent crack, witty turn of phrase, turnaround idea or wicked joke. And I know — we all know — that blunt-gruff reactions and persistent ideological ranting works against the flow of such things.”

    Jeffrey Wells, Hollywood Elsewhere, November 5th

    “David, you FUCKING ASSHOLE. I show you respect morning, noon and night, pointing to your more amusing posts and linking to you when you’ve written something good and/or true, and you turn around and write what you wrote. YOU FUCKING PIG.”

    Jeffrey Wells, MCN, November 10th

    Stay classy, Jeff.

  23. David Poland says:

    That would be False, Anghus.

    Ford has been the kind of guy who comes in and messes around with his potential role quite a bit before, most often, passing.

    As I recall, Michael Douglas’ role in Traffic – which Douglas passed on the first time around – was pretty much built by Ford before Ford passed.

  24. leahnz says:

    DP: missing the point and making little sense since…i don’t know when, but all too frequently lately, what the heck is going on

    i have no desire to engage you on this point either, nor did i expect to, because you simply do not listen, attempt to understand or take on board an opposing viewpoint with any deviation outside your narrow comfort zone, you’re like a broken record stuck in a groove of repetitive, conventional thought patterns/processes. and the fact that you see me as the one who ‘doesn’t understand’ is hilarious (i comment to the ether just for the hell of expressing my opinion, and occasionally someone will get it, which is nice)

    i will say that your response that I’M “in denial about genre and studio conventions” is about the silliest thing i’ve read in ages, you obviously didn’t comprehend a single thing from my comment above which addressed both those subjects fairly thoroughly, so brainwashed and a SLAVE to convention you are, but accusing me of being in denial is at least amusingly ironic.

    (as an aside: playing the absurdly overused and meaningless catch-all “PC” card when one is unable to properly address a point is a bit sad)

    mystery for the ages: why are self-appointed critics so unable to adequately deal with criticism of their critiques?

    and christ on a cracker that jeffrey wells is a fuckwit. one thing is clear: he must read this blog. that creeps me out for some reason.

  25. LexG says:


  26. sp says:

    Wow ! Jeff no need to be angry. I didn’t like this movie, and I don’t understand some of the critic love for this film. Devil Wears Prada is definitely more charming, entertaining , and fun. I saw it last night- it was only four people in the movie theatre ( including myself). This movie will not be a box-office hit. Rachel McAdams needs a career intervention. McAdams is talented, but she is not taking risks. I want her to move away from the bubbly , sweet as sunshine type of roles. Rachel was wickedly bitchy and edgy in Mean Girls & The Family Stone. She needs to revisit those roles. Rachel truly needs her ” Rachel Getting Married” , ” You Can Count On Me”, and “Black Swan”.

    Lex G, don’t sleep on Patrick Wilson. He is a gifted actor. I’ve seen him on stage and he is wonderful. Also. Wilson was pretty great in “Hard Candy”, and he was the best thing in “The A-Team”. Patrick looks like a young Paul Newman ( and matches some of sex appeal) .

  27. Geoff says:

    Leah, I certainly see your point about how there is a double standard for flicks about women; there often is.

    HOWEVER, sorry – the quality of most romantic comedies the past few years has been utter crap, no way around that. What’s the last great one? Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind? Honestly, I love a good dick flick when I am always looking for a good romantic comedy – the best ones always have repeat watchability, heck, even the solid and just entertaining ones. On cable, I will always get roped into watching Hitch, Music & Lyrics, etc.

    With regards to dick flicks, you probably don’t agree, but because there are SO MANY MORE made every year, there generally are some standout ones. No way around that. Inception, on paper, was a sci fi geek dick flick – for months with those trailers, that’s exactly what I expected despite the pedigree. And it kicked major ass, blew away most in its genre. Same with Scott Pilgrim. And I had a real weakness for Repo Men, this year. That’s just THIS year.

    Are their plenty of crap ones? Hell, yeah – The Losers, Jonah Hex, Last Airbender, the list goes on and on. But there are so many more of them that a few are likely to hit it out of the park.

    It’s not about gender, Leah – we’re just talking pure numbers and odds, here.

  28. Gus says:

    Can someone point me to something that explains why these two have beef? I’ve been reading this blog for a year and a half, maybe two years, and I still have no idea what the drama is.

  29. anghus says:

    I’d love to hear more from Wells, but apparently the coffee shop he was posting from was having issues with his wifi so he threw his mocha latte in the Manager’s face, took a piss on the floor and screamed that he’d never come back.

    yes. welles opinion is worthless. chronic anger is not a talent.

  30. Gus says:

    I don’t think Poland was even trying to say anything negative about Wells. It seemed clear to me he was just saying that bringing him into the thread was not at all related to what Poland was talking about. Didn’t seem like he was slighting Wells (to me) at all.

  31. Keil Shults says:

    Please tell me Cillian Murphy shows up during the climax to gnaw on Ford’s elbow.

  32. Keil Shults says:

    The State of Modern Film Criticism: A Play in One (Short) Act

    (a cell phone screen illuminates as a Katy Perry ringtone alerts Mr. Wells that he has a call)

    Wells: “Hello?”

    Some Guy (SG): “Man, you check my tweets yet?”

    Wells: “What time is it?”

    SG: “Time to get yo azz over to MCN! Poland be talkin trash about you in today’s Hot Diggety Blog!”

    Wells: “Aw, hell nahhh… I’ll be there in 20. Daddy had a ladyfriend over last night.”

    SG: “A little early in the holidays for a visit from yo mamma.”

    Wells: “Sheeeeeeeeeeeiiiiiiiiiitttttt. I’m out!”

  33. christian says:

    Wells is an animal. Ban him.

  34. Sam says:

    “you simply do not listen, attempt to understand or take on board an opposing viewpoint with any deviation outside your narrow comfort zone, you’re like a broken record stuck in a groove of repetitive, conventional thought patterns/processes”

    If I hadn’t known Leah wrote this, I’d have sworn it had been written *about* her.

  35. leahnz says:

    sam: blah blah blah. i listen and take on board other’s viewpoints here quite frequently if you bothered to take off your hate blinders, but i’m not holding my breath. so piss off, you’re tiresome.

    geoff: just quickly, i never claimed we’re in a golden age of romantic comedy, my point was the overwhelming tendency to take the most trite, poorly made types of rom-coms like ‘bride wars’ or ‘ugly truth’ for two quick examples and hold them up as the ‘standard’/definitive of the current state of the genre, which is disingenuous. when a romantic comedy comes out that isn’t dire, it’s suddenly deemed *not* a rom-com, “more” than a rom-com because it doesn’t fit the very narrow parameters of the poorest of the genre, and thus makes it far more difficult for the (mostly male) critical establishment to hold rom-coms in the contempt they so enjoy. but romantic comedy on film can take many forms and styles, as it ALWAYS has thru the history of cinema, incorporating other elements that make it varied and interesting. comedic romance in cinema is not just ‘one thing’ done ‘one way’, and pretending it is shows a profound lack of insight.

    now, to say ‘eternal sunshine’ was the last good rom-com is a hard row to hoe because that film is a CLASSIC of the genre, and if THAT is the standard that all rom-coms must achieve in order to qualify as better than average/ mediocre and worthy of viewer’s time, few movies – not just rom-coms – would reach that high standard, really.

    a list of popular rom-coms over the last 5 years (from the same list i compiled from last time, which fortunately i still have here in my folder thank god, and i just quickly added on a couple more recent ones from this year). like i said before, they vary a great deal in style and according to taste from quite mediocre to good, but certainly the state of romantic comedy on film is not nearly as dire as it’s so often made out to be:

    40 yr old virgin
    wedding crashers
    the holiday
    stranger than fiction
    a good year
    knocked up
    the break-up
    forgetting sarah marshal
    zach & miri
    definitely, maybe
    nick & nora’s inf. playlist
    27 dresses
    marley & me
    how to lose friends
    500 days of summer
    i love you, man
    it’s complicated
    date night
    she’s out of my league
    easy A
    love & other drugs

    (i very well may have missed a few as well, i sourced the list from imdb which has obvious limitations, but is a fairly good blunt instrument for films with a degree of popularity in the US with more than just a miniscule theatrical release)

  36. Paul MD (Stella's Boy) says:

    I think leah’s right. Eternal Sunshine is not a fair comparison because it’s a modern classic, and there are plenty of decent to very good romantic comedies every year. My sister was really excited to see Life As We Know It (as she is for just about every single romantic comedy released). I don’t think that’s any different than my brother-in-law having spasms about how awesome Jackass 3D and Red are.

  37. leahnz says:

    cheers paul aka stella’s b (i should have put ‘life as we know it’ on that list cause i actually saw that the other day with some friends and it was kinda sweet, certainly not the downfall of cinema into the bowels of hell that it’s been made out to be, largely sight unseen to boot)

  38. David Poland says:

    Again, I think Leah and I are talking past each other. Here is a list of popular dramas this year…

    Toy Story 3
    Alice in Wonderland (2010)
    Iron Man 2
    The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
    Shrek Forever After
    How to Train Your Dragon
    The Karate Kid
    Clash of the Titans
    The Last Airbender
    Shutter Island
    Jackass 3-D
    Robin Hood
    The Expendables
    Date Night
    The Book of Eli
    Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
    The Town
    Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief
    The Social Network
    Eat Pray Love
    Dear John
    Paranormal Activity 2
    The A-Team
    Knight & Day
    Dinner for Schmucks
    The Bounty Hunter
    Diary of a Wimpy Kid
    The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
    A Nightmare on Elm Street
    The Last Song
    The Wolfman
    Get Him to the Greek
    Resident Evil: Afterlife
    Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married Too?
    Tooth Fairy
    Easy A
    Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole
    Letters to Juliet
    Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

    … and that’s just a start!!!

    My point is, when I wrote about and write about “rom-coms,” I am not writing about every film that has some kind of sexual relationship and some comedy in it.

    There is a template for studio rom-com starring a perky female star with whom women are comfortable and some enormously replaceable male lead. The meet cute, the misunderstanding, the anger, the reconciliation, the reason they can’t be together, overcoming the thing they can’t overcome… the end.

    95% of pop songs are about relationships, but that doesn’t make every song a love song. Leah has her Sir Mix-A-Lot in my Barry Manilow.

    But again… happy for you to not like my opinion, Leah. It’s just the ferocity with which you insist that if my definition of things doesn’t match your inflexible definition of things, I am WRONG.

    You say it pretty clearly: “i have no desire to engage you on this point either, nor did i expect to, because you simply do not listen, attempt to understand or take on board an opposing viewpoint with any deviation outside your narrow comfort zone, you’re like a broken record stuck in a groove of repetitive, conventional thought patterns/processes.”

    That’s your broken record, Leah, not mine. And the fact is, I am still trying to engage with you and trying to hear you. But it’s probably a pretty stupid pursuit.

    When you actually make an argument, instead of just raging about how I define a rom-com, there is a basis for conversation. Obviously, from your list, we are not using the same definition. But you would rather respond with hysteria than try to find shared ground, which push comes to shove, we are probably 90% in agreement about.

    For instance, we both basically agree with SB. Jackass and Red live within a set or parameters just the same as Life As We Know It. 40 Year Old Virgin lives in both. There are plenty of films that break convention… but that doesn’t mean that we should pretend that convention doesn’t exist.

  39. anghus says:

    You know what strikes me as odd about morning glory. mcadams seems too smart to be playing the neurotic lovrstruck ditz. the trailer makes it look like shes playing anne hathaway in devil wears prada.

    i can buy mcadams as smart, confident, bitchy. i dont buy her as the neurotic overly emotional

  40. leahnz says:

    DP: please point to anywhere in this conversation that i have been even remotely “hysterical”. sexist nonsense i suspect. i’m “hysterical” because i emphatically don’t agree with you? really. bollocks.

    and your list above of ‘popular dramas’?

    EPIC fail. if you think it’s even remotely similar to the list i provided, you need mental counselling.

    EVERY SINGLE FILM on my list without exception is classified first and foremost and often SOLELY as romantic comedy, often with the one element of ‘drama’ added, which is entirely within the realm and purview – and usually a necessary ingredient – of the romantic comedy genre as classical story-telling. comedy/romance/drama, the basic ingredients; simple, matter of fact and to the point.

    the movies on your idiotic list, NOT EVEN CLOSE to being classified as ‘dramas’ first and foremost or only, on any list, or in any context. you’re just being a jackass and you know it, your list is a preposterous joke (if you meant it as a joke, you succeeded; but i suspect it’s a joke for differnt reasons than you intended)

    and so you know, this is where you’re going terribly wrong, once again:

    “There is a template for studio rom-com starring a perky female star with whom women are comfortable and some enormously replaceable male lead. The meet cute, the misunderstanding, the anger, the reconciliation, the reason they can’t be together, overcoming the thing they can’t overcome… the end.”

    no. you are misguided. and this is why:

    what you describe above is simply one type of a VERY NARROW definition of the depiction of comedic romance on film. for you to claim that the above is definitive of romantic comedy in any sense is patently absurd; it is merely one formulaic style of romantic comedy, and by holding to this definition, this very narrow convention, then the universally acknowledged GREATEST romantic comedies in the history of cinema AREN’T romantic comedies at all. annie hall. the apartment. silver streak (well one of my greats anyway). i could go on and on and on, and in fact i already did with a pretty comprehensive list that includes many of what are considered the greatest rom-coms OF ALL TIME in that other thread when this subject came up before. i’m not sure a SINGLE one of the greatest rom-coms in cinema history adheres to that ridiculously narrow convention/definition/formula you’ve asserted above. so those films are, in fact, NOT romantic comedies, even tho they are universally acknowledged as such? how is your argument in ANY way valid?

    your insistence on parroting and adhering to one silly ‘convention’ as your only leg to stand on, your inability to see past your narrow argument about the art of romantic comedy as a classical form of story-telling in cinema is actually rather alarming.

    also, the hypocrisy you display is stunning. you say “my inflexible definition of things” when in this VERY discussion you display utter inflexibility in persiting with the idea that your extremely narrow and INFLEXIBLE definition of a rom-com above is somehow definitive by virtue of ‘convention’. that you can’t seem to see how inflexible YOU are and how hypocritical your stance is, is frankly disturbing.

    can’t be bothered with anything more, i never should have responded to you in the first place. it is impossible to have a discussion with you becuase you are so far up your own ass lately, frankly.

    (and PLEASE stop with this “we are 90% in agreement” bollocks, clearly we are not. and that’s ok, that’s fine, but you telling yourself that we actually agree where we do not is weird, and not the good kind of weird)

  41. leahnz says:

    ftr, my ‘last 5yrs’ list of rom-coms as classified by IMDB (someone did this for me, bless them and thank you, i never could have been bothered with my attention span of a gnat when it comes to this sort of thing):

    40 yr old virgin – comedy/romance

    wedding crashers – comedy/romance

    the holiday – comedy/romance

    stranger than fiction – comedy/drama/fantasy/romance

    a good year – comedy/drama/romance

    knocked up – comedy/romance

    the break-up comedy/drama/romance

    forgetting sarah marshal – comedy/drama/music/romance

    zach & miri – comedy/drama/romance

    definitely, maybe – comedy/drama/romance

    nick & nora’s inf. playlist – comedy/drama/music/romance

    27 dresses – comedy/romance

    marley & me – comedy/drama/family/romance

    how to lose friends – comedy/romance

    500 days of summer – comedy/drama/romance

    adventureland – comedy/dram/romance

    i love you, man – comedy/romance

    it’s complicated – comedy/romance

    date night – comedy/crime/romance

    she’s out of my league – comedy/romance

    easy A – comedy/romance

    love & other drugs – comedy/romance

    and some acknowledged classics of the genre:

    annie hall – comedy/drama/romance

    the apartment – c/d/r

    roman holiday – c/d/r

    bringing up baby – c/r

    his girl Friday – c/d/r

    so i’m interested to hear how my list of films are somehow NOT acknowledged romantic comedies and it’s just my wacky classifications that i pulled out of my ass. my list is clearly a list of industry acknowledged romantic comedy.

    (i look forward the list of ‘dramas’ from above with their similarly related industry acknowledged classifications for comparison)

  42. David Poland says:

    Leah, all I have done is told you how I feel. I acknowledge, without reserve, that you may disagree, but what I wrote is, indeed, specific.

    There is no point in arguing this with you – beyond the issue of hysteria – because you just keep beating the issue to death.

    You have every right to think The Apartment, 40 Year Old Virgin, and Love & Other Drugs are rom-coms. I disagree, by any standard, much less the specific one I have mentioned.

    But really, I don’t care! Not because I am dismissing you, but because we are now well past the point of explaining a joke to death or killing a housefly with a nuclear warhead.

    I think the conversation about how we categorize movies is pretty interesting, really. There is a lot of gray worth discussing. But when the flamethrower is out, nothing is gray, everything is blazing red.

  43. Sam says:

    This thread appears to have died down now, I guess. But I was enjoying it so much, I can’t resist winding it back up again.

    Leah: “rom-com”

    *sits back and awaits 50,000 more words of ranting*

  44. leahnz says:

    honestly DP, could you be any more sanctimonious, and also, a bit of a whiny cry baby? actually you probably could, never mind

    so i keep beating the issue to death? wait, am i here just talking to myself? i could swear you’ve commented back to me several times on this matter, but maybe i have a better imagination than i thought! unless of course you consider your participation in this discussion – including obvious contempt for the genre, snark, lame baiting such as calling me hysterical and your ever-present self-pity – as above reproach, and my part as ill-advised and baaaaad…but surely not because that would be hypocritical and sanctimonious…

    FACT: many of the greatest rom-coms in the history of the world as recognised by pretty much everybody who has more than a passing knowledge of movies (and that most certainly includes ‘the apartment’) do NOT follow the narrow convention you’ve asserted is THE rom-com template. your rom-com template is a dismissive, bogus trifle, merely one formula/convention in a sea of past originality and future possibilities.

    read this by your own employee on your own website about rom-coms today and how they’ve become too formula, unlike the great rom-coms of the past (incl. annie hall, the apartment):

    (edited to insert link, i spaced it)

    i must have missed your protests of noah’s column and how rom-coms have to follow ‘the formula’ or they don’t count, how ‘annie hall’ and ‘the apartment’ are not, in fact, classic rom-coms because they don’t adhere to your little template. where can i find that?

    irony: you claim ’40 yr old virgin’ and ‘love & other drugs’ (which granted i haven’t seen yet, just going by the plot synopsis) are not rom-coms, and yet they are rom-coms that actually DO follow the narrow convention you’re so fond of as examples that mostly adhere to your little template! hilarious

    now, who is more inflexible in this scenario:

    the person who sees comedic romance as a device of classic story-telling for the wide-ranging genre that it is;


    the person who thinks comedic romance must adhere to one particular convention or is is not in fact comedic romance but something “more”, in spite of a history of examples to the contrary.

    i’ll leave you to ponder that.

    the rather amusing thing is, DP, that you comment ad nauseum here about how wrong people are about this and that, day in day out, but when the shoe’s on the other foot you don’t like it much when someone tells you’re wrong, do you? funny how that works. but you are.

    oh and sam: yaaawwwnnn. what, nothing to say about DP’s contempt for the genre? snarky, asinine list, contradictions, self-pity, blatant hypocrisy or questionable comprehension skills? oh i forgot, you only have the one good eye, sorry. did you have an accident or were you born with it? or do you just not have the guts to say anything about DP’s part in this conversation because you’re a big priss, only me because you’re apparently so obsessed with me that the only time you say anything here is about – you guessed it – me?

    maybe go clean your toilet, you might actually be good at that, just be careful not to splash that one good eye. get right up under the rim, that’s where the germs hide.

  45. josh says:

    Really Poland — you and your goons are being really despicable on this thread.

    Leah is right.

    It’s the old boy’s club, as usual.

  46. Monco says:

    Man Lesbnz is crazy.

  47. bigbooty says:

    I personally think morning glory sucked.. I just watched the movie.. Rachel McAdams was looking hot like usual.. I personally didnt like the script.. the story was awful !

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