Who's In It: Rachel McAdams, Harrison Ford, Diane Keaton, Jeff Goldblum, Patrick Wilson, John Pankow
The Basics: Young workaholic Rachel McAdams pushes her way into the executive producer slot at a failing network morning show, where she forces veteran serious newsman Harrison Ford into a co-hosting slot he doesn't want (opposite Diane Keaton, whom he hates) and takes segments and turns them into attention-grabbing, family-friendly Jackass stunts. On top of that, she encourages open hostility between the seething anchors for the sake of ratings and, in her spare moments, she dates Patrick Wilson. With all that going on there's just no time for worrying that she's behaving just like a career-driven young man.
What's The Deal: I spent most of this movie worrying about when it was going to guilt-trip and punish McAdams for her ambition and drive. Because that's usually what you get from movies like this. In fact it's especially what you tend to get from movies from this film's screenwriter Aline Brosh McKenna. (Watch 27 Dresses and The Devil Wears Prada and tell me I'm wrong.) For whatever dumb reason it's still considered normal to badger women about being careerist. But in that icky trailer moment when Ford finally tells her that her life is going to be miserable like his was and blahblahyou'vechangedmylife, all she does is chuckle and more or less ignore him, treating him as though he's her adorably out-of-it grandpa. After that scene I no longer felt guilt about how much I was enjoying watching it. It's like if Network were a sitcom on ABC Family. Or a cookie.
Cast Report Card: Keaton has temporarily broken out of what I like to call the Because I Said So curse, the one that--with the exception of Something's Gotta Give--seems to have pushed her into a career path of terrible movie after terrible movie, making her something like the anti-Meryl Streep. She's just what you want her to be for this moment. Ford is a snarling cartoon version of his grim political thriller self played for laughs. And McAdams is no Mary Tyler Moore but she's just this side of being that appealing.
Haters Gotta Hate: Setting aside the skull-skewering Natasha Bedingfield song the trailer and the closing credits are trying to force into your consciousness, the biggest beef a thinking person might have with this film will be based on what came before. If you remember the '80s comedy Broadcast News and agreed with its warnings about capitulating to the infotainment devil, you'll have to hold your nose a little (or a lot) while watching. McAdams actually says to Ford in one yell-filled moment, "The world has been debating news versus entertainment for years and YOUR SIDE LOST." In other words, Holly Hunter's character from Broadcast would want to punch her in the face. Also, from start to finish it tries to get you into an cuteness headlock and it refuses to give up trying, so if you're naturally averse to that kind of pushiness from a movie, you might want to stay away. I'm normally like that myself, but this movie has lots of fighting and that's great, so I gave in to the headlock.
Who To Bring With You: Your mom. Mine's already demanding I take her.