Basket-case network news producer Jane Craig falls for new reporter Tom Grunnick, a pretty boy who represents the trend towards entertainment news she despises. Aaron Altman, a talented but plain correspondent, carries an unrequited torch for Jane. Sparks fly between the three as the network prepares for big changes, and both the news and Jane must decide between style and substance. Written by
Scott Renshaw <email@example.com>
BROADCAST NEWS opens with a series of brief vignettes that are a clever way of starting a story about TV anchors who have no clue as to what they're reporting about.
At a speech before a group of would-be reporters, all of whom are bored by her presentation, most of them leave. When the last one exits, the co-host of the event says quietly to HOLLY HUNTER: "I don't think there will be any Q&A." Subtle line in a brilliantly written low-key comedy, a farce about the show biz aspect of TV anchoring.
WILLIAM HURT is the inept news anchor who finds himself working with HOLLY HUNTER as the network anchorman. Hurt badly needs help in remedial reporting and Holly refuses to take the bait--at first. He knows he's only capable of looking good, but is not a reporter. He proves to be a quick study as long as his earpiece is working and he's getting all the straight info from executive producer Hunter.
Holly's other anchor friend (ALBERT BROOKS) helps by feeding her information she passes on to Hurt. Of course she becomes conflicted about her feelings for ace reporter Brooks and equally strong attraction to the pretty-boy anchorman Hurt, who's having his own dalliance with a pretty staff member.
You have to wait until twenty minutes before the film ends to find out which man she'll end up with. Brooks tells her that Hurt is the wrong one because he represents everything she's against. In this unpredictable comedy, there's no telling who Hunter (the neurotic heroine) will end up with.
Fittingly, HOLLY HUNTER, WILLIAM HURT and ALBERT BROOKS were all nominated for Oscars (Brooks in supporting role), as was the film itself and director/writer James L. Brooks. All in all, seven well deserved Oscar nominations.
The script doesn't opt for a conventional happy ending--and, in this case, that's the only flaw for the brilliant screenplay. I felt cheated and somewhat let down by the wistful conclusion.
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