Rachel McAdams plays Becky, an aspiring TV producer. When we first meet her, she is working at a small morning show in New Jersey. She is expecting to be promoted to executive producer, but instead she is laid off due to budget cuts. She starts looking for a job and gets an interview at Daybreak, the morning show on IBS. Seriously. In this movie, NBC, ABC, and CBS are real networks, but the fictional network Daybreak is on is called IBS.
Becky is so full of energy that she thinks she blew the interview. In fact, she really shouldn't get the job because she basically admits defeat and walks out. She could at least finish the interview and try to save face, but she walks out. Surprisingly, she gets the call that she has the job. And since this is a movie, the phone conversation goes like this:
Jerry Barnes - "Do you think you could do this job?"
Becky - "Yes, absolutely."
Barnes - "Ok. You're hired. You start Monday."
Becky - "Thank you."
I don't think anyone has ever been offered a job with that short of a conversation. The person hiring her would have a few more things to say and questions to ask. At the very least, there should be some discussion about what time she should be there.
But anyway, the show is horrible. Becky is going to turn it around, and her first day there she fires the male host Paul McVee (Ty Burrell). This movie is so all over the place tone-wise that McVee has several weird sexual fetishes. The first time Becky meets him, he asks how she feels about having her feet photographed.
Her plan to revitalize the show is to bring in Mike Pomeroy (Harrison Ford), a well respected newsman who hates morning shows. He is a serious old school newsman, and has nothing but disdain for morning shows that are all about puff pieces, celebrities, and cooking segments. But he is forced to do the show because of the terms of his contract.
Ford spends the whole movie being grumpy. It is funny for a while, but eventually it gets old. He does have one scene where he breaks down a little and tells Becky what will happen to her if she spends her whole life focusing on work.
The dynamic between Becky and Mike is the focus of the movie. Even though she knows what she is getting in to with him, she is still upset and surprised that he won't come around and do lame morning pieces. If she would have an adult conversation with him, they would probably be able to come to a compromise. She could explain that they are in danger of being canceled, and if he will do a few lame shows, she will let him do some serious news stories. But neither one is that smart, and that conversation never takes place.
Near the end, Becky has the chance to take a very good job at Good Morning America (her goal since she was a kid), and I won't spoil what happens, but I really disagreed with her decision. A smart person would take a good opportunity (for a lot more money), but this is a feel good movie where we need to pay off the relationship between the characters.
Oh, and there are way too many musical montages in this movie.