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File:BroadcastNews.jpg

 Tom: You're an amazing woman. What a feeling, having you inside my head.

Jane: Yeah, it was an unusual place to be.

Tom: It's, like, indescribable. You knew just when to feed me the next line the second before I needed it. There was a rhythm we got into. It was like great sex.

A 1987 drama-comedy written, directed, and produced by James L. Brooks. It tells the tale of three newspeople who get tangled in a Love Triangle. At one vertex, producer Jane Craig (Holly Hunter) leads her life in chronic emotional meltdown because of her obsessive-compulsive character. She's sexually attracted to but professionally repulsed by Tom Grunick (William Hurt), a simple reporter who landed his job solely on good looks and charisma. He only survives on live TV because Jane feeds him everything he needs to say through an earpiece. Meanwhile, the brilliant Aaron Altman (Albert Brooks) dreams of reporting evening news but his un-telegenic looks hold him back both from his ambitions and his crush on Jane.

All three share a slavish devotion to their work ? even Tom, ever aware of his low intelligence, wishes to someday cover a story without Jane's help. As Roger Ebert describes: "After Hunter whispers into Hurt's earpiece to talk him through a crucial live report on a Middle East crisis, he kneels at her feet and says it was like sex, having her voice inside his head. He never gets that excited about sex. Neither does she." Indeed, it's only because their romance gets tied up in the workplace's questions of journalistic standards and integrity that Jane, Tom, and Aaron's Love Triangle gets tenser and tenser.

Watching this character knot unravel is exciting due to both strong performances by the lead actors and an excellent screenplay by James L. Brooks. He frequently shifts from comedy to drama but his dialogue always shimmers: it's hard not to laugh at Jane and Tom's good-natured flirting on the one hand, while when Aaron presses Tom on his ignorance of basic world affairs the discomfort hangs like a dagger in the air. Broadcast News kept low profile but was universally praised by critics, getting four stars from Roger Ebert and fifth place in Gene Siskel's favorite films of 1987.

Tropes used in Broadcast News include:
  • An Aesop: The film is a searing indictment of declining news reporting standards. Over 20 years later, it looks more prescient than ever.

 (on faking tears for a news item)

Jane: You can get fired for things like that.

Tom: I've been promoted for things like that.

 Aaron: Can you believe it? I just risked my life for a network that tests my face with focus groups. (Beat) I don't feel good.

 Tom: I'm going to miss you... you're a prick in a good way... I'm sorry.

Aaron: No, I liked how that made me sound.

 Jane: It made me... ILL.

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