Rachel McAdams ('Sherlock Holmes,''State of Play') leads this comedy as Becky, the smart though overly effusive workaholic who convinces a network exec to give her a shot at resuscitating the show 'Daybreak.' As the serious newscaster fallen from grace, Mike Pomeroy, Harrison Ford is impossibly orange and delivers all his lines in a Christian Bale-worthy growl. Diane Keaton plays his pill-crunching co-anchor Colleen Peck, who starts out as testy but soon becomes game to try anything from sumo wrestling to rapping with 50 Cent to liven up the show. Power struggles, zingers, and scenes of a weatherman who will do literally anything for his audience are harmlessly and forgettably funny. Writer Aline Brosh McKenna ('27 Dresses,''The Devil Wears Prada') throws in an odd romance between Becky and fellow TV producer Adam (Patrick Wilson) to add some drama, but there's little effort spent actually developing it.
Early on in the movie, after Becky is laid off from a rinky-dink station in Jersey, her mother chides her that she should just give up her dream. After all, she is 28! What was cute as a child is now "officially embarrassing." Her dad encouraged her too much, and now look where it's got her. (Subtext: Not married or providing grandchildren, that's for sure.) There's nothing like an underwritten, undermining mother to explain a character's weaknesses. Becky later tells Pomeroy that she and her father used to watch his newscasts together, but we're beaned over the head with her daddy issues when Pomeroy literally calls her on it. Naturally, he has children and a grandchild, and when he gets a big news scoop, it's because he wanted to prove to himself and to them that he still could, that he still mattered, because he felt totally emasculated when he was fired way back when, etc. While it's an interesting angle, it's certainly not subtle. 'Network' this ain't.