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When Is a TV Review of a Movie Worse Than the Movie Could Possibly Be? When It's on ABC "World News Now"
November 15, 2010  | By David Bianculli  | 1 comment

One of the bad things about being a television critic is having to work odd hours -- so little time, so much TV. Another of the bad things, an occupational hazard, is stumbling upon late-night horrors few people are awake to endure. I dealt with one this morning, on a super-late, or super-early, film review on ABC's World News Now...


Presented as a regular "special feature" called "Insomniac Theater," it had World News Now co-anchors Rob Nelson and Vinita Nair each reviewing a current movie. His was Unstoppable, but hers was Unwatchable.

Actually, hers was a review of Morning Glory, the new comedy starring Rachel McAdams, Harrison Ford and Diane Keaton.


Nair informed viewers that the movie was "basically based about our lives, all about morning news," and explained that McAdams "becomes the EP at a morning show that's in dead last place."

Nair did not, however, explain that EP stands for Executive Producer, because how could anyone NOT know that? (Even grips and best boys know what an EP is...)

After showing a clip from the movie, in which Ford and Keaton snarled at each other as feuding co-anchors, Nair returned with her verdict on the film, and her reasoning behind that verdict. That was what astounded me beyond belief.


"I'm going to give this movie three kernels," she said, as a trio of movie popcorn boxes popped up at the bottom of the screen.

And that was the best part.

"I have to say," she confessed, "I wanted to give it two, because as someone IN the industry, I thought it wasn't really fact-based -- but my husband really liked it, surprisingly.

"I just think it was all over the place, plot-wise, but you'll like it.

"I'm a bad judge, probably," she concluded.

Her conclusion, at least, was dead on.

As a movie review, I'd give Vinita Nair's attempt to evaluate Morning Glory one dim bulb.

I would have given it no dim bulbs -- but my cat really liked it.





Chris Collins said:

And coming soon to TVWW, "The Cat Also Criticizes" mostly covering the Animal Planet and the Fishing shows on ESPN3!

[Heh heh. Made me laugh -- at 5:30 a.m.! -- David B.]

Comment posted on November 15, 2010 10:41 AM

Eileen said:

I saw this, and totally concur with your review of her review. It was "cringe worthy" at best...

[What were YOU doing up that early/late? -- David B.]

Comment posted on November 15, 2010 12:31 PM

Sarah said:

Wow that sounds horrible. Now I rarely read or listen to/watch film reviews because good or bad-unlike tv:)-I tend to go to whatever movie I'm intrusted in seeing. This on the other hand makes me miss Roger and Ebert 's thumbs and maybe Gene Shallet shouldn't retire. I think the worst part is her talking about how the movie is not like her "real life" I hate to say this but that is just silly. I've said it before and I'll say it here, it's a movie it's not suppose to mirror your life. David no matter how good or bad a TV series was I like to think you wouldn't review one about a TV critic stating that it was totally unrealistic unless of course it happened to be a reality series.

[In fact, the animated series 'The Critic," starring Jon Lovitz, got the freebie tee shirts just right! -- David B.]

Comment posted on November 15, 2010 2:12 PM

Tausif Khan said:

When I saw ABC News Now in the title I said to myself: Ah, David keeps the same hours I do.

With At the Movies off the air is there any place on television for good movie criticism? Patrick Stoner for WHYY seems to be the only one I can see in my local area and he generally comes on for 5 minutes at a time.

I personally enjoyed the recommendation of Tina Fey being awarded the Mark Twain prize. I was surprised at how subversive and political she and the presentation was. I thoroughly enjoyed it even though I have never ever been a fan of SNL.

Comment posted on November 15, 2010 2:38 PM

Rich said:

I actually saw the movie. AND, I can even possibly explain WHY guys might enjoy it. It's not a "Traditional Chick Flick".

Guys will watch Harrison Ford do anything. Rachel McAdams is easy to look at doing anything. The plot was simple. Energetic hottie gets crappy job in the big city and stakes her hopes & dreams on a 4th place morning show and changes the lives of those she inspires. It's like "Major League" meets "Broadcast News"?

McAdams is part of what I called "The Five Fingers" in the hand of Female Movie Drama. The list of time tested female actresses Men can stand in a chick flick are: Kate Beckinsale, Rachel McAdams, Reese Witherspoon, Sandra Bullock, and Jennifer Garner.

Comment posted on November 15, 2010 3:17 PM
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Reading this article again, I'm glad that society has developed to solve the above problems about the hosting profession.
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