I have to admit that when I first saw commercials for this movie last year, I was skeptical. I mean, it looked cute and happy-ending-ish, but it could have also been cheesy and trope-ish.
But I kept seeing it pop up on my radar, and when I saw it offered on my Netflix earlier this week, I decided to spend an afternoon watching it while I did some online work.
I was pleasantly surprised. I liked Becky Fuller, played by Rachel McAdams. She's cute. She's driven. She's a little clumsy and quite often easily-flustered. I can feel her passion for her job, her career goals, and her desire to make it work. I like that.
I like how she stands up to the extremely rude behavior of her new morning team, Colleen Peck, played by Diane Keaton, whom I adore, and Mike Pomeroy, played by Harrison Ford, who is still as handsome as ever. I like her gumption. I like her strength.
When she gets involved with the handsome guy from another branch of the network, we see her trying to balance the demands of her job against her personal life. It's not an easy balance. The network is pressuring her to get the ratings up, people call her all hours of the day, and she's required to practically babysit her staff. But you can tell, no matter how exasperated she gets, she loves it. She loves the excitement and the challenge.
But then her relationship starts to suffer. She can't sit through dinner without answering her phone or watching the news. It was cute at the beginning of the relationship, but now that they're serious, she's expected to be more available. That's reasonable, I guess, but the movie doesn't do a good-enough job, in my opinion, of showing her relationship and the damage her work is wrecking. It just seems like her beau is being a bit whiny. But, since it's a deal-breaker for him, and he's generally been such a good guy for her, I can see where she would want to consider changing for him. But she doesn't, until she gets a well-timed piece of advice from the until-now troublesome Mike Pomeroy, who, as it turns out, is pretty much the older, male version of her -- driven, career-centered, and lonely.
I can't say this film was great. It lagged at times, some of the scenes felt a bit flat. Some of the jokes were easy, and some of the relationships were shallow. But there were plenty of really funny scenes, and a fair number of heart-warming moments.
Does this movie pass the Self-Rescuing Princess bar? Yes. She's never forced into a stereotypical situation. She's tough, she's strong, but she's never crazy or shrill. She enjoys her relationship, but doesn't give up her career to save it. Any change she makes in her life is for herself, and not to make someone else happy. And, in the end, she finds a balance in her life that works.
It's not high art, but it's a enjoyable movie. Could it be better? Sure. Would I watch it again? Yes. Would I recommend it to others? Yes, with the understanding that it's not a perfect film.