Here’s an upcoming Hollywood project that is the very definition of “let’s throw a bunch of crap at the wall and see if it sticks”. Variety reports that Harrison Ford has signed onto the J.J. Abrams produced/Roger Michell directed Morning Glory, a romantic comedy about two feuding hosts on a morning television show who can’t stand each other and the puckish news producer who tries to hold it all together. As of yet, Mr. Ford’s female rival has not been cast, but Paramount is looking at Rachel McAdams to co-star as the producer. It isn’t clear if the script by Aline Brosh McKenna (she of the witty The Devil Wears Prada and the incessant 27 Dresses) will center on Mr. Ford and his fellow co-anchor falling in love or a burgeoning relationship between Mr. Ford and Ms. McAdams. However considering Mr. Ford is 36 years Ms. McAdams’ senior, we’re hoping for the former scenario.
Phew! This already sounds like a total mess. The last thing J.J. Abrams has been able to handle properly is the romantic comedy; just look at his derisible former television show October Road (or do yourself a favor and don’t). And while Mr. Michell (Notting Hill), Ms. McKenna and Ms. McAdams are clearly comfortable within the genre, they all seem to fit into different subcategories.
Then there’s Harrison Ford. At the risk of blaspheme, we never thought Mr. Ford was a great actor. He was a great movie star, mostly because he was able to slide along on his irascible charm, making girls swoon and boys grin. Unfortunately, that charm has long disappeared. It would be easy to point to his grumpy and sullen performance in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull as the tipping point–Mr. Ford spent the entirety of that film looking like a child sitting in front of a giant plate of broccoli–but we’d argue that he hasn’t been charming in nearly twenty years. Spells of tight and unhappy performances litter his resume, from Sabrina to Hollywood Homicide to Firewall (truly one of the worst movies ever produced). At this point in his career, Mr. Ford is totally wrong for a romantic comedy, a genre that lives and dies on the charm of its actors. Barring Meryl Streep being cast as his co-anchor (which, face it, would be awesome), we think this project is doomed to fail under the weight of his frowning visage before it even gets off the ground.