Saturday, November 20, 2010

766. Broadcast News (1987)

Running Time: 127 minutes
Directed By: James L. Brooks
Written By: James L. Brooks
Main Cast: William Hurt, Albert Brooks, Holly Hunter, Robert Prosky, Joan Cusack


With "Broadcast News" leaving the streaming portion of Netflix tomorrow, I decided I'd go ahead and watch it, so that I could avoid adding it to my regular queue. I was kind of anticipating it, seeing as how I've been a William Hurt fan for quite sometime and recently discovering the talents of Holly Hunter.

Our three main leads are Jane (Hunter), Aaron (Brooks) and Tom (Hurt). Jane and Aaron work at the Washington bureau of a TV network and scramble to perfect their news pieces to get them on the air. Aaron is a reporter and Jane a producer, for the network. They're best friends and have a tendency to call each other up for even the most menial of reasons. When Tom Grunick arrives in town, he comes off as a not so smart, yet handsome man, who Jane asks to dinner following his appreciation for her speech at a news conference. They go to her room after dinner and he confesses his lack of talents, as he is a sportscaster who, on a fluke, got thrust behind the news desk and became an anchor. She disapproves of his tactics and later he tells her that he has been hired by her station. From that point on, realizing Jane is someone who will tell him like it is and not just what he wants to hear, Tom is head over heels for Jane, chasing her throughout the film and trying to win her affections. Aaron also begins to feel love for Jane and trying to win her heart, fails, as Jane, possibly not wanting to taint the friendship, will not return Aaron's love. The whole thing is a big one-sided love triangle mess, all set inside the confines of a broadcast newsroom.


My biggest problem with "Broadcast News" was the characters. Jane wasn't a problem, as I thought Holly Hunter did great and I've actually known of a few girls like Jane, who are perfectionists and race around in frantic mode trying to meet deadlines and get things done. I thought Jane's daily cries were hilarious and provided a deeper insight into who Jane was, a character who could only take a minute out of her day to have for herself...and she chose to spend her minute crying. My character problems instead lied with the two main male leads, Let's take Aaron first. Was I supposed to sympathize with Aaron? We have this smart guy, who is nearly perfect at his job and is portrayed as an "I'm smarter than you" kinda' guy as a kid. He's funny yes, and for the most part he was the character that I wanted to get behind as the winner of Jane's heart. Then you have Tom, who is portrayed as kind of a dummy who gets thrust into the biggest news position that there is. Am I supposed to like a guy like that? I don't want to get behind the character who gets all of the things that he doesn't deserve. I guess they kind of lighten that up by having him admit the fact that he doesn't deserve it, but later he develops a bit of a cocky attitude, an "I'm better than you attitude" and yet he still seems to be the guy that the movie wants us to get behind.

Hell, maybe we're just supposed to like a little bit of everybody and get upset when things don't turn out perfectly for all of them, I don't know. Honestly, I was pretty much rooting for Aaron the whole time, as he was the funny guy who you kind of felt sorry for, despite the fact that he was a smart ass. Tom was just way too charming and snake-like for me to root for and like I said, I liked the character of Jane. The rest of the film was fine, really nothing good or bad, but leaning more toward the good side. The romance set inside a newsroom angle kind of worked for me, but not entirely and in the end I wasn't all that impressed. I did like the music, and on a side note, music has been something that I've really been picking up on in films lately, especially if it's really good or really bad.

RATING: 6/10 Nothing to really write home about here. The actors do a fine job, it's the characters who are hit and miss with me.


November 20, 2010 1:10pm

1 comment:

  1. I think the films intent is to show that in todays dumbed down world, (especialy in TV land) shallow, but good looking guys like Tom will always come out on top of guys like Aaron. Yes, I hope most decent people were rooting for Aaron. OK, we need to admit that Tom was better as a front man, but in so many ways theses days, the good, solid work put in by the Aarons and Janes of the world are not seen as worthy of reward or recognition as the Toms.


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