Note: 3x3 contains spoilers about the films, books, and TV shows discussed.
Three things I loved about Broadcast News
- This is going to be hard. This was simply a great movie--one of those you finally watch, after years of hearing how good it is, and find the hype completely justified. Limiting myself to just three things I liked? Eep. OK, how about the cast? Holly Hunter, as producer Jane Craig, has never been more charming, all twitchy passion and dedication. One of the things TV and movies can do very well is show an audience a professional who is awesome at their job in action. At the same time, it's an easy thing to mess up--that sense of verisimilitude can be hard to come by. But they got it here. Hunt is completely believable as a supremely skilled producer. Albert Brooks, someone I know largely by dint of The Simpsons, very nicely balances neediness, intelligence, and a weird melange of assurance and doubt into a very sympathetic character as reporter Aaron Altman. And William Hurt, as anchor Tom Grunick, takes a sort-of thankless role, that of a pretty talking head who knows he's a pretty talking head, and makes it work. Just great acting all around.
- The ending. The girl doesn't get the guy, the guy doesn't get the job, and the guy doesn't get smart. And yet they all end up happy. An ending that felt fair and true to the characters.
- The deja vu. Here's a movie that hangs a major scene and turning point in the plot on military action in Libya, with much discussion of Qaddafi, and that features as its central theme the notion that TV news has become corrupted by the need to sell soap. Wow, we can't relate today at all.
- OK. This is going to be hard. Well, the score, by Bill Conti (who scored Rocky) is pretty much forgettable "romantic comedy" music, and this is not a forgettable "romantic comedy."
- The opening, with our three leads as kids demonstrating their character traits, seemed off. The genius kid who graduated high school at 15? No, he does not go into journalism. And what does an obsession with pen pals have to do with producing the news?
- (Stretching time.) The old-age makeup on Grunick's dad (who we see in the opening when Grunick is a kid and then later as an older man) was pretty lame.