Ever since an acquaintance introduced me to Broadcast News several years ago, it’s been one of my go-to feel-good movies. While not quite as laugh-out-loud funny as, say, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, it’s the perfect blend of one-liners, romance, and realistic workplace drama.
Holly Hunter, in her second big role (after Raising Arizona earlier the same year), stars as Jane Craig, a precocious, know-it-all news producer. She and correspondent Aaron Altman (Albert Brooks) flirt, though it’s apparent pretty early on that he’s more interested in her than she is in him. Jane catches the eye of Tom Grunnick, an easy-going reporter-turned-anchor who’s more interested in easy stories that attract viewers than in reporting real news.
Aaron, meanwhile, wants nothing more than to anchor the news, though when his time finally comes it doesn’t go quite as he’d planned. And just as Tom starts to finally get somewhere with Jane, she discovers he staged part of an interview—an unconscionable offense to any self-respecting reporter, and most of all to her.
There’s only so much plot to be had here, but frankly, it doesn’t matter. Life rarely has anything to do with plot, and Broadcast News is about life. And life is about our hopes, dreams, and desires, and what we choose to do with them.
Broadcast News stands firmly on its own two feet. But any fans of Aaron Sorkin will enjoy picking out the dozens of parallels between it and The Newsroom.