Talented, savvy, but plain TV news reporter Aaron Altman (Brooks) carries a perpetual torch for his hard-driving and overworked boss, producer Jane Craig (Hunter). Aaron wants to be an anchor, but Tom Grunick (Hurt), a pretty boy who represents the trend toward entertainment news trend, arrives, and though Jane despises what he represents, she falls for Tom and assists his career (with Aaron sourly backing her up) anyway. The network is planning big changes, and no one knows who will survive, let alone get ahead, as this love triangle plays out. A solid 1987 comedy-drama, sort of a kinder, gentler "Network" written and directed by James L. Brooks ("Terms of Endearment"). Joan Cusack has a small comic role, and Jack Nicholson appears uncredited as a veteran anchor.
The review of this Movie prepared by David Loftus
In 1987, “Broadcast News” depicted serio-comedy at a TV news department about as credibly as “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” did weekly, more than a decade before. With James L. Brooks at the helm of each, that is not surprising.
The film shows how three talented professionals made it to a Washington, D.C. network news bureau and, what their goals are. For instance, Aaron (Brooks) is an award-winning correspondent who understands “real” news like why El Salvador fights the Sandanistas. But when he finally gets a chance to anchor a weekend newscast, he blows it.
Aaron is captivated by over-achieving producer Jane Craig (Hunter) who is more agreeable to remaining “just friends” while routinely orchestrating near-impossible on-air editing. When we see her seduce handsome but vapid anchor Tom Grunick (Hurt) while chiding, “you never went to college, you can't write, and you don't understand what you're reading,” we understand how her passion is real for each night's newscast.
This menage-a-trois is demonstrated when Tom has the opportunity to interview a famous general. While Jane feeds him nick-of-time questions from the booth, Aaron watches helplessly from home and calls to give her the hard news skinny which enables Tom to parrot even better questions. Frustrated, Aaron murmurs to his TV, “gee, it goes in here and comes out there.”
If Tom is the bureau's Ted Baxter-like foil, he is not without ambition. Good thing. Because, like the 1977 MTM finale, the network is about to undergo sweeping changes as rumors abound over who will remain and who won't.
The review of this Movie prepared by Angry Jim Magin