The setting is the Washington news bureau of a major TV network; the focus is on three aspiring journalists climbing the ladder to national success.
William Hurt is the glamorous moron who brings us the news without knowing anything about it. Naturally, the network grooms his pretty face for stardom as an anchor.
Albert Brooks, as a talented and dedicated reporter, can’t get to first base because he’s ethnic and lacks star charisma.
And the incandescent Holly Hunter is the crackerjack workaholic producer who can’t balance integrity in her work ethics with a good sex life but loves both guys.
With Brooks, she’s maternal. With Hurt, she compromises her standards, but what the hell?
Sometimes, she says, great sex with a shallow fake is better than no sex at all.
Broadcast News creates these memorable characters and fills the roles with marvellous actors. You’ll even like Jack Nicholson’s delicious cameo as the veteran network star who seems oilier on camera than Geraldo Rivera.
Following everyone’s triumphs and failures through on-camera crises and off-camera heart breaks, you’ll regard them all as old friends long before the final sign-off.
Exposing the hypocrisy that goes on behind the scenes in TV news, the competitive jockeying for position among anchormen, the tribulations of being a smart woman in a man’s world, the fight for standards, and the incompetence that rules the airwaves, director-writer James (Terms of Endearment) Brooks leaves the audience laughing but uncomfortable in the knowledge that the news has nothing to do with news at all – it’s show business.
James L Brooks