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  • I never liked reality shows,and when this movie was shown on cable I decided to watch it and found it really interesting.Matthew McConaughey plays video store clerk Ed Pekurny who lives with his parents and his big brother Ray Pekurny,played by Woody Harrelson.He is hired by a TV company that wants to do a 24-hour reality show based on his life,and Ed grabs the offer.In the beginning,the public tells Ed that his show 'stinks',but as they see him getting involved with his elder brother's girlfriend,the ratings go above the roof.What's more,when Ed makes out live with the bombshell to end all bombshells,that is Elizabeth Hurley,the interest verges on voyeurism.The icing in the cake comes when Ed's father suddenly turns up from nowhere,having abandoned him and his brother years ago.The film is a well-made documentation of the vulgarity of the public that makes up the television audience not only in America,but the whole world.Sex and scandal will always be the top-sellers,whether it is an ordinary man's tale or that of a celebrity.In fact,it is Ed's scandalous life that makes him America's Number One celebrity.McConaughey plays his role with ease,and so does Harrelson.Ellen Degeneres is good as the unscrupulous TV producer,while Elizabeth Hurley's brief appearance leaves the audience gasping for more.Quite entertaining and very candidly made.
  • It's a shame that due to the timing of when Edtv was released, it was automatically deemed a pitiful copy of the Truman Show, a movie that won our hearts the previous year. Now, I love the Truman Show too, very much, and I'll admit that I was was very uninterested in ever seeing a copy-cat version of it. It was until just a few weeks ago that I actually watched Edtv (even with the expectation that I would most likely not like it too much) and I must say I was pleasantly surprised!

    Not only was Edtv funny and entertaining, but it was nearly nothing at all like the Truman Show. I mean, the ONLY similarity is the idea of a live TV show about an "ordinary" guy. But Truman didn't even know he was on TV. He was just living what he thought was an ordinary life. All the cameras and microphones were completely hidden and he lived in a town that was entirely fabricated from his wife and life-long best friend, to the rain and even the sun. His is a story of a man searching for an escape from his everyday life, which little by little he is realizing may not be what it seems. Ed on the other hand was a nobody who was chosen to have a camera crew actually follow him around all day while he went on about his life. His life, and in turn the show, became more about instant celebrity as viewers became enchanted in watching this loser become a mega-star over night. People flocked around him just as much to meet him as to be on TV themselves and he endured some major struggles in keeping his life and relationships normal, which was impossible with his celebrity status and on-camera life.

    Both movies had a theme of America's fixation with TV, and more specifically Reality TV, but have different plots and overall themes altogether. I think Edtv was a very enjoyable movie and Mathew McConaughey and Jenna Elfman delivered fantastic performances. Not to mention the mind boggling, and I think underrated, job of editing such an enormous amount of footage. Considering that while the film cameras were rolling, the video cameras were rolling too, and just about all of the video footage you see was actually shot when you see it being shot, I think that Ron Howard did a great job of keeping track of it all and actually making it work. So when someone says, "Well, it was no Truman Show" they are absolutely right. I think it is a great movie that stands on it's own and should stand proud.
  • True TV launch their new concept – Real Life TV, where cameras will follow one person's life 24/7 and put it all unedited on TV. When Ed is dragged into his brother's audition tape he catches the eye of the studio and he becomes the lucky subject of edtv! However when he falls for Ray's girlfriend Shari things get difficult and he finds that his new found fame is not all it cracked up to be.

    Stepping out of the shadow of The Truman Show came another film about reality TV and the nature of fame. However this has little to do with Truman in terms of content, instead it tries to be more of a comedy and tries to mix a little bit of social comment. The story is essentially a romance but it doesn't convince. It doesn't work simply because the whole idea of looking at fame, reality tv and studios is more interesting (even if it doesn't come off). The film promises much but doesn't fully use it's potential – the comedy is never a funny as you hope, the look at fame and TV is never as clever or as deep as you think.

    It's a shame that it isn't better because the cast is good on paper. McConaughey is still a rising star (although needs a big hit soon). Harrelson is good as he usually is when in support and Elfman is pretty good as Shari. The support cast is great too – Landau is funny, DeGeneres is good, Reiner is funny and wicked while lesser roles are filled out by the likes of Hurley, Dennis Hopper, Clint Howard. Get past these and you have tonnes of little cameos from the likes of Harry Shearer, Michael Moore, Jay Leno and George Plimpton.

    Overall this is enjoyable – it's just that you feel that all of it's parts have potential that are never fully realised. It's OK but you can't help feeling that it's a missed opportunity.
  • Even though I like most of the players, I really wasn't expecting much from this movie. I wound up surprised by its freshness, wit and thoughtfulness. I feared a poor person's Truman Show, but this film took a lot of the same themes and spun them in different directions. The film lacked Truman's sadness and humanity but made up the difference with more concise and challenging social commentary (not to mention a better supporting cast). Issues of celebrity, entertainment, the media, the information age were all handled in interesting ways. When it needed to be abrasive and shocking, Ed TV took its shots, but it usually remained in a very comfortable and entertaining middle ground. As a viewer, I felt like someone who had spent the previous 15 minutes surfing channels before finally finding a gem worth watching.
  • Ed is a happy go lucky video store assistant going nowhere fast who finds himself attracted to his brothers girlfriend. So far so what? But this just happens to be occurring at the same time that his every waking minute is being broadcast live to the nation on the new reality show Edtv!

    Directed by Ron Howard Edtv is a first class film inspired by the French Canadian movie 'Louis 19, Le Roi Des Ondes'. Released shortly after The Truman Show its the superior if unfairly less well received of the two Hollywood reality TV themed movies. It did come up against heavy comparisons but is quite a different & better film. Whereas Truman was totally unaware that he was in a TV show Ed activity volunteers for the job. Such is the currency of celebrity in the modern media age. Who are you if you haven't been on TV?

    The world of celebrity is the one we inhabit in the early 21st century. They are used to try to convince us what to wear, what to eat, what to drink & even who to vote for! We are truly living in a celebrity culture, with shows such as Big Brother & Survivor promoting the seemingly unstoppable desire by members of the public to become famous simply for being famous! Ed, slightly reluctant at first soon becomes seduced by this idea, an idea which turns sour.

    Ron Howards movie does have a lot to say about the issues of celebrity & reality TV, but at its heart is a great romantic comedy which has more of an edge to it than is expected from the one time star of Happy Days. The pairing of Matthew McConaughey & Woody Harrelson is inspired, they are great together sparking off one another. Natural comedic actors you believe they are brothers. Dennis Hopper puts in a good cameo & Jenny Elfman is totally convincing as the female romantic lead. You really care about the plight of the characters & the rest of the cast are also on top form. From Rob Reiners small role as a TV executive to the excellent Martin Landau as Eds father. He is one of the best character actors of recent years making truly varied & believable performance in films as diverse as Crimes & Misdemeanors, Ed Wood & Rounders. Add Edtv to the list - his performance is comedy gold!

    The great acting would of course all be in vain if it weren't coupled with a good script. Thankfully Edtv has one. All the predictable hallmarks of a romantic comedy are here but with a sharper wit & of course the reality show structure which brings a new dimension to the genre. Add to this Howards direction using all the tricks, styles & conventions of reality TV. Sometimes you are watching the cameramens POV, sometimes Eds exploits are conveyed on a TV screen complete with advertising, at other times you are presented with multiple viewpoints of the same scene. These constant variations in style keep the film fresh & interesting & are further enhanced by the audience reactions throughout the film & the TV led critique & discussions about the merits or otherwise of the phenomenon that is Edtv. Together the acting, directing & script really convince that Edtv is viable & could exist!

    Overall this is a funny, well directed romantic comedy from Ron Howard. Great performances abound from all concerned. There is a deeper level to the film which isn't hammered home or done in a heavy handed way but is there none the less among the laughs. But just how long will it be before Edtv becomes a reality?
  • I first want to say, all those comparing EDtv to "Truman" just miss the point completely. They are as different in approach and intent as are "The Rock" and "The Birdman of Alcatraz" which both happen to be set in the same prison.

    "EDtv" is meant to be a comedy with a lot of subtle and not so subtle references to the intrusive nature of the media. The characters are very engaging and well-acted. I laughed all the way through this movie. That's all I think it was supposed to be.

    It isn't quite as good as "As Good As It Gets" or "Analyze This", but I still give it 8 of 10!!
  • EdTv is a comedy, but also a very serious movie: if you notice our reality in the present days, full of cameras watching us everywhere we go, and even the reality show programs, you will notice that the main thing in the movie is not only to entertain, but maybe also to alert people about the dangerous problems of all this stuff. Ed Pekurny is a regular guy who suddenly gets invited to be part of a reality show. He accepts,specially because he wants the money that the TV executives are going to pay him. Gradually, what starts being funny and even a nice way of popularity becomes a nightmare,with Ed not having any privacy at all,specially with his girlfriend Shari.

    I found the end of this movie very cool. Go watch it :)
  • people who keep saying this is just like the truman show are stupid. it's completely different, and it didn't rip of anybody. both movies were probably being made at the same time. Truman Show has barely any similarities to EdTV. EDTV is a romantic comedy, light satire, and truman show is a drama. EdTV didn't get what it deserved at the box office and i respect howard whose direction is excellent, for releasing this movie when he did. Harrelson and Landau are hilarious and this is probably matthew's best performance i've seen of him. he really does a great job. jenna elfman too. Very funny, entertaining movie, and a great DVD. I laugh so hard when the camera man falls in the outtakes section of the bonus materials.
  • EDtv will inevitably be compared to Peter Weir's The Truman Show but really they haven't much in common. The Truman Show took itself far too seriously. EDtv is a fairly black comedy, a satire on modern TV culture.

    The producers of a failing TV network decide to take a punt and try a new format - a real TV doco on an ordinary life.

    They audition and choose Ed (Mathew McConaghey), a rangy, slobbish video store worker who's been once or twice bitten in love; the sort of fellow who goes out with a beer mug tied around his neck.

    Ed takes on the challenge partly because he's pretty broke and partly because he's bored, urged on by his little hoper, small brained, big muscled brother Ray played by Woody Harrelson. A few days into the shoot Ray throws over his girlfriend Shari (Jenna Elfman) and Ed wins her as his new lover. Ratings soar!

    The talent of the cast (not to mention it's director Ron Howard) lends a great deal of life to Edtv. It's often genuinely funny. McConaughey uses that winning smile to perfection, even as he has an early morning, half asleep fiddle with his genitals. McConaughey is a major reason why EDtv works as well as it does.

    Woody Harrelson is a genuinely talented actor and can play a spoilt, selfish meat headed brother perfectly. Some of the best lines have been left to Al the boy's father played by Martin Landau as well as to Ellen DeGeneres as the show's producer.

    But it's the character of Ed and his family who really set the neurones firing. Unlike many American films these heroes are ordinary middle Americans, probably about as close as a mainstream American film could get to an English, Ken Loach/Mike Leach, style of middle/working class family. There aren't any chandeliers in Edtv.

    It's not often that these sorts of characters are treated warmly in these sorts of films and then we must ask how our own families would fare under this sort of warts and all scrutiny- probably about as well as Ed's.

    And it's also interesting to wonder how much the average Aussie would consider EDtv to be a satire given the popularity of Rikki Lake and her ilk, not to mention the Funniest Home Video types of programs. Is real life TV (is there such a thing) already even more outrageous than EDtv? Is EDtv outrageous enough to be satire?

    There are some dull minutes in EDtv (mostly to do with Elizabeth Hurley's appearance as a sex pot) but EDtv proves again that Hollywood isn't nearly as dumb as it makes out to be.
  • EDTV is more concerned with "Ed" than "TV".

    In fact, throughout this dull and relentless tale of ordinary Joe Ed turned real-life 24-hour television star, Director Ron Howard consistently resists the obvious satire on the fallout of fame and focuses on the cloyingly saccharine romance that lies at EDTV's mushy core.

    If you doubt this (and considering Howard's track record, you may), visit EDTV on DVD and you'll be treated to numerous deleted scenes that satirically drive home the point that fame is indeed a bitch. Unfortunately, these scenes are also some of the darkest, funniest and most telling in the script. (An entire subplot about an EdTV imitator that ends with tragedy was completely eliminated from the final cut.) Why then did they end up on the cutting room floor? Howard can't seem to get away from Mayberry sentimentality enough to make EDTV the film it needs to be by it's very nature. In fact, the stars of the film (Hurley, DeGeneres, Harrelson) could have made a more interesting documentary on the price of fame than EDTV does at it's cautious best.

    All hail, however, the film's bright spot, Ellen DeGeneres. Yes, Ellen. With her balance of quirky humor and self-doubting charm, she manages to infuse the film with some sense of purpose and it is she (not wrongly cast lead Matthew McConaughey) that we care about.

    See it for Ellen. Or, better yet, rent THE TRUMAN SHOW and cap it off with a re-run of TV's ELLEN. I guarantee more laughs and heaps more satire than the botched EDTV can ever provide.
  • Edtv is a great movie that proves that life on the cameras can be very annoying after a long period of time. Ed is a normal guy who thinks that fame could prove to his advantage when slowly and surely, he realizes that fame has bad after effects after the family and the loved ones are bothered by cameras in the face as well. Jenna Elfman, who played the hippie wife in dharma and greg, didnt really fit in the movie in my opinion. perhaps another leading lady, like renee zilweger or leelee sobelki would have done a better performance. this movie is on sometimes on tbs, and they usually do several repeats over and over again, so if you have the opportunity to watch cable, then watch edtv.
  • This movie features one of my favourite Matthew McConaughey performances. And is a movie I think is horribly under rated. It's a movie I can watch at any time, good mood or bad, feeling well or feeling sick, winter, spring, summer or autumn. This movie always holds my attention.

    Plot In A Paragraph: Television Network, Reality TV, decides to have a show where they show the life of an ordinary guy, 24 hours a day And the ordinary guy they choose is Ed Pekurney (Matthew McConaughey) despite the fact that he didn't film an audition, but appeared on his brother Ray's (Woody Harrelson) audition tape. At first, everything is OK, but soon the presence of the cameras, and ensuing celebrity status cause problems and all sorts of family secrets are revealed to the world.

    Directed by Ron Howard, filled with great performances, and contains a great score by Randy Edalman and a great song by Bon Jovi "EdTv" was unfortunate to come out a year after Jim Carrey's "Truman Show" which all though also dealt with one man being on TV 24 hours a day, is a totally different concept, as the main star on "The Truman Show" didn't know he was on TV, and didn't know everyone in his life was an actor, in "EdTv" Matthew McConaughey willingly signs up for the show. Sadly it was considered an imitation movie and suffered in comparison at the Box Office.

    The full cast give great performances McConaughey and Harrelson are always reliable but Jenna Elfman and Ellen DeGeneres more than hold their own. Rob Reiner and Dennis Hopper are both fun and Elizabeth Hurley (Who I have never been a fan of) is perfectly cast as the fame hungry Jill.

    However, for this reviewer it is Martin Landau as Ed's stepdad who steals the show, He is both hilarious and heartbreaking.

    Anybody who wants to get into the reality TV world, which is 100% more popular now, than it is was when this movie was made. Needs to watch this show as a warning about the double edged sword of fame/celebrity and reality TV.
  • I wasn't expecting much of this when I went to see it, but I totally loved it.

    Its misleading to try to compare it with the Truman Show. There's a superficial similarity in their basic concept, but otherwise they are completely different (and I loved Truman - still can't understand what the Academy thought it was doing).

    There was not one dull moment, and at times I though I would pee myself laughing (and it takes a lot for me to say that to a world wide audience!) I don't remember laughing so much at the cinema since Speed 2 - but this time for the right reasons.

    So it was funny, but there were also genuinely moving sad bits.

    Martin Landau absolutely stole the film with some killer one-liners, but all the performances were fantastic (even Liz Hurley didn't make me cringe, as she poked fun at her own reputation) Ellen is great, as is Woody Harrelson (who looks uncannily like his on-screen brother) and I always love Adam Goldberg. Matt McConaughey is perfect, whether he's being a jerk or doing the right thing (oh OK, and damn cute with it.)

    The whole thing is probably enhanced by being so utterly believable, and ends with a great anti-corporate finger (literally, in fact, now I think about it)
  • This film has been unfairly compared with 'The Truman show'. Although the two films deal with the same subject matter, viewing of them both go into different directions.

    Matthew McConaughey (Ed) and Jenna Elfman (Shari) are terrific as the couple trying to get together but are forced to confront the camera at every turn. Woody Harrelson (Ray) is great as the Lecherous, fickle and then bitter brother (I won't spoil it by telling you why).

    Ellen DeGeneres (Cynthia) is great as the cable TV exec who is eventually torn between the job and conscience. Rob Reiner (Whitiker) does a brilliant job as the main exec who is a complete bastard.

    Ron Howard's direction is smooth and the editing is even better when you get the DVD and see how much was left out. It could easily have been far too long and got bogged down with detail.

    All in all there are great laughs to be had especially when Ed and Jill (Liz Hurley) have go on a date and may have to actually 'perform' for the cameras. It does ask the question 'How far will TV go to secure ratings?' That question is constantly being answered...

    This is just great fun. Try not to analyse it too much or you'll ruin it for yourself...
  • jbels7 May 1999
    This is one of the worst of 1999. It is a mean-spirited, meandering farce which offers none of the usual laughs from the writing team of Ganz and Mandel. It has been reported that Ron Howard was upset at the way Universal handled the film, but who's really to blame. All energies were put into saying that "this isn't The Truman Show" but it is The Truman Show, and MTV's The Real World, only it's no fun.
  • I was stunned to discover that EDtv had virtually no redeemable qualities. Ron Howard has created what appeared to be a life support system for friends and family and not a film of any merit.
  • mmeong19 March 1999
    Upon entering the theatre, my expectations were minimal. I hoped to be entertained, at least. Alas, my fellow movie goers, it was not to be. And this is why: 1)The musical score left something to be desired. It neither reinforced the theme nor was it catchy (many of the songs are CONSTANTLY used).

    2)I found myself agreeing with the mock panel of social commentators that the script called for; they deride "EdTV" for the self-glorifying "boobery" that it is. The audience should never find themselves agreeing with the opposing argument.

    3)One shot of Clint Howard and everyone knows it's a Ron Howard film (not that it was much of a secret).

    4)The many-faceted foibles of the lower classes is celebrated to the tune of Bill Clinton and Jerry Springer. If I want to see how tough it is on the bottom I'll just watch one of the aforementioned people.

    5)This film's cup o' cliches overfloweth. Man rockets to stardom on the wings of neither effort nor perseverance and suddenly he discovers, life's not what it's cracked up to be--you can't have your cake and eat it too.

    6)Jenna Elfman's ever (more like FOREVER) weepy eyes were irritating. The audience doesn't feel for her, let alone feel sorry for her. It got so bad you simply couldn't stand the sight of her "breaking heart" (and I do use that term loosely). Again, the audience agrees with the supposed "EdTV" fans who don't believe Sheri (Jenna's character) is good enough for Ed.

    7)There is no rapport or sympathy for any of the characters, save one, Martin Landau. Perhaps it was indeed experience that allowed him to make us laugh at the right moments, but also pull our heartstrings when it was time.

    Only see this movie if you are absolutely desperate (you know, a gun to the head, Friday night and no date) and even then--Don't blame me if you are just as disappointed as I am.
  • When I review a film, I like to try and elaborate on its good and bad points, however in the case of "EdTv", there aren't many good points to speak of. Ron Howard's film is cliched from beginning to end. There is not one surprising element, and the characters are quite dull, with the exception of Ed's brother Ray (Woody Harrelson), who is at moments, quite funny. Mattew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson look like they could actually be brothers, but McConaughey's performance is just plain dull. And speak of dull; people call this a "hilarious comedy". It had a couple of funny moments, but it definitely wasn't hilarious. As well, Dennis Hopper had a throw away performance as Ed's real father. Why bother getting a brilliant actor such as Hopper for a role like this?

    "EdTv" had a couple of minor elements that were somewhat good. First of all, Ron Howard captures quite well, the fascination that people have with seeing themselves on TV. Second, he repeatedly shows images on television, some in extreme close up, uncovering the individual pixels that make up an image, giving the viewer the feeling of the 'artificial'. TV is an artificial means to anyone's existence, whether you're on TV, or just watching it.

    The real problem with "EdTv" is its failure to take into account the fact that people act differently when they know they are being filmed. The concept of EdTv is to get into the real life of an average every man by having a volunteer allow a camera crew film every aspect of their life on live TV for two months. But the truth is, people, no matter what setting they are in, respond differently to a camera than to other people. We are lead to believe that this is Ed's real life. Well, it isn't! Early on in the film, Ellen DeGeneres's character says that if you drive by an accident, you can't help, but look "to see if there is that rolling head on the highway". At first I hated this line, because its so cliched in itself; I can remember having heard this line when I was eight or ten. It is however true, people do look and have that desire to look, but something such as an accident is a random and extreme event. These events are what people are interested in seeing. "EdTv" tries to develop a theme around people's desires to watch, but fails miserably. Psychoanalytic film theory has emphasized the importance of the 'look', or the gaze of the audience. This is reflected in its references to the audience as 'the spectator'. 'Looking' is part of an individual's self-definition and relationship to his or her environment. Freudian theory describes the position of the 'spectator' as that of a voyeur, who makes an object of those caught unwittingly in the power of his gaze. The voyeuristic look is one of the pleasures an audience finds in the cinema. One of the real pleasures of 'looking' is the power you feel in knowing that the person who is the subject of your gaze doesn't know that you are looking. "EdTv" doesn't even consider this as an option even though it hinted towards it at the beginning. Films such as "Blue Velvet" and even "Sliver" capture the idea that people want to see what others are doing without them knowing they are being watched.

    I think that "EdTv" would have been much more interesting if it had considered some of these possibilities. If what occurs in "EdTv" were to actually ever happen, I don't think it would be much of a success. I personally couldn't care a less about some program with a guy knowingly putting on a show for us. Perhaps if you could get into his life and videotape him without his knowing it, it might be interesting. I know this is a scary idea, and most people would not want to admit this about themselves, but more people would watch if the person being filmed had no clue, because that gives us; the audience, the power.

    *1/2 out of ****
  • It's too bad for Ron Howard's Edtv that its arrival came shortly after Peter Weir's masterful The Truman Show, a film received with adoration by both critics and general audiences alike. Both are satires that comment on the state of trash TV and how audiences will watch literally anything providing they follow a comfortable (and manipulated) narrative, but both took their own unique approach. Jim Carrey's Truman was of course completely unaware that millions tuned in every day to see him live out his life in a supposedly Utopian confines of a television studio, but Matthew McConaughey's video store clerk slacker happily signs up to have bulky cameras and a boom mic follow his every move. Edtv certainly lacks the bite and incredibly dark undertones of Weir's masterpiece, and is content with structuring events around a familiar rom-com narrative, but Howard's film gets its message across with sufficient charm and wit, and almost twenty years later feels spookily prophetic.

    True TV producer Cynthia (Ellen DeGeneres) pitches an idea to her stuffy boss Mr. Whitaker (Rob Reiner) that will involve following one individual, 24/7, as they go about their everyday lives. Whitaker reluctantly agrees, so the camera crew heads out into the city to find what they hope will be a new superstar. Ray Perkurny (Woody Harrelson) is eager to grab the limelight, hauling his girlfriend Shari (Jenna Elfman) and younger brother Ed in front of the camera to endure his obnoxious jokes. Cynthia, charmed by Ed's good looks and humble outlook, opts for the younger brother, and so EdTV is born. Ratings are terrible at first, with Ed waking up with a hand down his pants to a horrified audience, but start to improve as it becomes clear that Ed harbours feelings for Shari. Soon a narrative forms, much to Cynthia's liking, as Ray accidentally reveals to the world that he's a cheating scumbag, and Ed's absent father Hank (Dennis Hopper) turns up in an attempt to reignite their relationship.

    As the audience grows, so does their influence on the show's events, with polls and talk shows about EdTV seem to litter every channel. With Shari reluctant to play out a romantic relationship in front of a camera crew, a beautiful and willing supermodel (played by Elizabeth Hurley) is thrown into the mix to spice things up. With the power to voice your opinion on a global scale now at everybody's fingertips, along with the ability to hit record at any given moment, Edtv is stunningly accurate at depicting the toxicity this level of access can influence. The film seemed to know exactly where our pop culture was heading, and it reminded me of the unnerving time I observed a family member watching Big Brother housemates live as they slept motionless in their beds. Yet as events are forced to play in a more traditional, consumable manner, Edtv pulls most of its punches, and the story becomes more about Ed's will-they-won't-they relationship with Shari than the abyss of toxic waste we were steering ourselves toward. Despite the best efforts of an incredibly talented cast - Martin Landau delivers a particularly fine performance as Ed's stepfather - the film is never vicious enough to hold the attention for a running time of over 2 hours.
  • In a desperate attempt for ratings, a reality TV network decides to film the life of an average person 24/7. They receive audition tapes from average people, including that of Ray (played by Academy Award Nominee Woody Harrelson). But it's not Ray that producer Cynthia (played by Golden Globe Nominee Ellen DeGeneres) chooses; it's his brother Ed (played by Academy Award Winner Matthew McConaughey) that she picks for the show. Eventually, the show becomes a hit, but at certain costs: it can provide certain uncomfortable moments, like when he is with the love of his life (played by Golden Globe Winner Jenna Elfman) or when his real father (played by Academy Award Nominee Dennis Hopper) comes back into his life. However, that doesn't stop the studio head (played by Academy Award Nominee Rob Reiner) from manipulating the show and Ed for more ratings.

    Honestly, while this isn't a great film, it is good entertainment. All of the actors do a good job in their parts; heck, there are even more actors in this than the ones I mentioned. Academy Award Nominee Sally Kirkland, Academy Award Winner Martin Landau, Elizabeth Hurley and Clint Howard all play supporting roles in this film, so it really does have quite a stacked and talented cast. As for Ron Howard, while this isn't his greatest film, he does seem to know his way around a good joke and a good concept. It does feel like a wasted opportunity, but in no way is this his worst movie.

    All in all, a good film if you're looking for a night of fun, relaxation and laughter. Go and watch it.
  • EDtv

    The upside to being on TV 24/7 is that you can watch reruns to find your misplaced keys.

    Conversely, as this comedy confirms, live streaming can cost you your family.

    To boast ratings, producer Cynthia (Ellen DeGeneres) proposes following around blue-collar Ed (Matthew McConaughey) with a camera.

    While the first episodes flop, once Ed's family (Woody Harrelson, Martin Landau, Sally Kirkland) is introduced viewership goes up. But when a romance starts blossoming between Ed and his brother's girlfriend (Jenna Elfman), Cynthia introduces a supermodel (Elizabeth Hurley) to up the ante.

    Spawned from late 21st Century paranoia over the threat of reality TV, this 1999 satire based on a French-Canadian film and directed by Ron Howard doesn't delve deep enough in to the technology it is trying to lampoon to make it funny or memorable.

    Besides, if people really wanted to watch others all-day then human zoos would be more popular.

    Yellow Light
  • Ed Pekurny (Matthew McConaughey) is an everyday guy with a loser video clerk job. TV producer Cynthia Topping (Ellen DeGeneres) wants to do a 24/7 reality show for a failing cable network. They choose to do the show with Ed. His brother Ray (Woody Harrelson) is a bit of a douche. Ray breaks his girlfriend Shari's (Jenna Elfman) heart, and she falls for Ed.

    If there isn't the gimmick of a TV show, this would be a simple rom-com between McConaughey and Elfman. However, the movie is too simplistic about what a camera following somebody all the time would actually mean. This feels like a Hollywood movie of a Hollywood TV show of a Hollywood reality.

    Director Ron Howard doesn't actually do edgy that well. It's definitely not his forte. And this movie needs to get down and dirty, but Howard's light touch fails him here. After an interesting start, it quickly gets boring. It's a speed bump in an otherwise great directing career. The sad thing is that it's so obvious that Howard is not up to this job.
  • A decent conceptual drama with a mildly sour twist of social commentary thrown in. Fresh into his career as a leading man, Matthew McConaughey plays into his typecast as a drawling, charming bachelor, this time spiced with the angle of a 24/7 reality show that broadcasts his every waking moment. Naturally, this eventually plays havoc on his personal life, especially when he picks up with his brother's publicity-shy ex (Jenna Elfman). Not quite as interesting or original as 1998's thematic clone The Truman Show, it's still a fair (if light) take on the cult of celebrity with some good, unexpected curves peppering the plot. McConaughey is unbearable in a few scenes, but he's at least believable as the naive, overnight celebrity everyman adopted by pop culture. Warm and charming at times, thin and predictable at others, it's a good effort with a curiously accurate prediction about the surge of reality programming that was on the horizon.
  • "EdTV" is Hollywood's remake of the 1994 French-Canadian hit "Louis 19: le roi des ondes". I'm not going to compare the two films. The only reason I mentioned it is to set the record straight that "EdTV" (1999) is NOT a ripoff of "The Truman Show" (1998) since the screenplay was bought years earlier.

    "EdTV" is a somewhat Orwellian comedy/drama about an everyman named "Ed" who falls victim to society's hi-tech voyeurism. Ed becomes the pawn of a bunch of network suits who broadcast (and do their best to ruin) his entire life to the thrill of millions of viewers. I think it would've worked better as a no-holds-barred satire (like the movies "LIVE", "ROBOCOP", "AMERICAN DREAMZ" or the masterpiece "BRAZIL", but director Ron Howard opts to take the kinder, gentler approach which ends up watering down the message & its impact on us.

    Not only that, but today the story isn't as edgy as it might have been back in the 90s when reality TV was just budding, and we didn't know where it would lead. Today's audiences might think "what's the big deal?" and to be honest I found myself thinking that a few times during the picture. But I do remember the 90s and the whole reality-TV phobia which fueled such stories as this, and that's what made it an entertaining film for me. If you remember the 90s and your first reactions to the new phenomenon called reality TV, you might enjoy it too.

    At times the film teases us with challenging philosophies, in particular there's the intriguing line: "Ed is the apotheosis of a prevailing American syndrome. It used to be that people were famous for being special. Now they're considered special merely for being famous. Fame has become a moral good in this country: It's its own virtue" Unfortunately, the film never follows up on such thoughts and instead runs back to predictable drama, such as the girlfriend who can't deal with cameras invading her life, or the cliché about Ed being hounded by brainless fans all the time. These plot devices undermine the power of a film like this, reducing the film to passing entertainment instead of something more thought-provoking.

    The whole film struck me as being a very "Ron Howard" production, which means a shiny, polished presentation and a predictable Disney-like story with no real surprises or tension. It dazzles us with a great star-studded cast and a lot of gloss (the budget was an estimated $60 million... five times as much as 1999's Academy Award winner "American Beauty").

    But I was much more impressed with the relatively obscure films "LIVE" (a satire about a reality show where the contestants play Russian roulette), "CASI DIVAS" (a great Mexican comedy/satire about a nationwide search for new talent), and an unknown comedy gem called "SPECIAL" about an ordinary chump who takes an experimental drug and becomes... uh... special. These 3 films deliver entertainment but more importantly they carry a lot of weight behind what they're telling us. "EdTV" had a few noteworthy scenes, such as the funeral confrontation between the two brothers, but these scenes were deleted from the final release and can only be seen on the DVD extras. The result is a somewhat breezy and entertaining but unimportant film.

    "EdTV" is worth the price of admission, and it kept me entertained from start to finish. But if you want a little more substance to feed your brain, try to check out the other films I mentioned above.
  • Matthew McConaughey stars as Ed, a young ordinary single guy. When a television network decides to make a reality show to follow a man's life, Ed gets chosen for the show.

    Ed likes the idea but his family and friends disagree with him. As time goes by he slowly realizes how much this show effects his life. He has met the girl of his dreams and their relationship gets complicated because of all the cameras and people following him around.

    This movie was OK and fun to watch, it might have been a very good movie at the time it was released because people were really hyped on the new phenomenon called 'reality TV', a term that has grown mainstream to this day.
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