It's the unforgettable story of a nobody...that everybody's watching! Matthew McConaughey and Jenna Elfman star in this hilarious romantic comedy Joel Siegel of Good Morning America calls "Big-Laugh Funny." — Ed Pekurny (Mc... more »Conaughey) is just a regular guy who feels he has nothing to lose by agreeing to be a star of a new reality-based TV show. Almost overnight, the program becomes a hit, and suddenly this goofy but engaging video clerk is a national celebrity! Everything's fabulous...until Ed falls head-over-heels for Shari (Elfman), the girlfriend of his brother Ray (Woody Harrelson). Suddenly their most private moments become public entertainment - and the ratings go through the roof - as millions of fans tune in to watch a real soap opera filled with comedy and romance.
Superbly directed by Ron Howard and featuring a stellar supporting cast including Elizabeth Hurley, Sally Kirkland, Martin Landau, Ellen DeGeneres, Rob Reiner and Dennis Hopper, EDtv is an outrageous look at instant fame, overnight success, and sharing your life with a few million of your closest fans.« less
Edtv is a bit of a hard movie to write a review for. This is one of those movies that after you finish watching you don't necessarily feel disappointed about the movie...but after just a few minutes you realize that the movie is completely forgettable.
Edtv came out right around the time when reality TV was really starting to get its major stride on TV and this movie makes a bit of a political statement in regards to the insatiable appetite society seems to have in being able to learn about another persons dirty laundry. It was also a bit dwarfed due to the major success of the other reality TV based plotline and superior movie, The Truman Show.
Matthew McConaughey and Jenna Elfman both play their parts very well. And there are some really funny parts in this film. The movie plays well on the plot...but it doesn't really ever move itself in a direction that makes the movie stand out. It basically ends up being just another run of the mill romantic comedy.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
THE STORY OF A NOBODY EVERYBODY IS WATCHING!
John Dagley | Melbourne Australia | 05/18/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ed is an average, easy going sort of bloke who owns a local video store. Never one to go searching for the public's attention. That is until well-known television station True-TV has a slide in the ratings and need something new to keep their network Number 1. Their solution is to broadcast one persons day to day life LIVE. Ed's brother Ray decides to audition, but the network like Ed better. At first Ed thinks maybe he shouldn't get involved in such public scrutiny, until his brother talks him into it. After a slow, embarassing start to live television, Ed soon begins to enjoy the fame. He gets everything he ever wanted. Until his family and friends begin to regret their time in the spotlight, after some uncomfortable truths are learnt. Suddenly, Ed must decide which is more important, instant fame or a right to one's privacy?Acclaimed director Ron Howard (Ransom, Apollo 13) explores the realities of instant fame, and all of the repercussions. A perfect choice of topic considering he has been in the public eye his entire life.I love this movie. It is very funny, very truthful, and worth more then one viewing. It brings up some interesting issues, and has some clever story points. A one point I'm sure I knew every line in this movie! It's pretty sad, but it means the lines are pretty easy to learn. If you thought you'd seen it all before in 'The Truman Show', think again! This movie is much funnier. A much better movie in all respects. Never boring. No offense to Truman fans. I've seen both. The cast may not appeal to everyone, but they are all wonderful in their roles. The ending may also not appeal to others. I didn't like it to begin with, but I have since changed my mind. This movie is great. The Collector's Edition makes it even better! With commentary, I find Ron always very easy to listen to. All extra features outtakes, deleated scenes and more are wonderful. A must-see for anyone, and an absolute MUST for Ron Howard fans.TURN HIM ON, TAKE HIM HOME.Watch Ed as he shares his life with a few million of his closest friends!"
One of the funniest movies I've ever seen
Mark Bond | United States | 01/03/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"My life is movies. I am an afficionado; I was hired at one of my jobs because I knew a movie fact. Out of all the comedies I've seen, this one is special. Ron Howard has made such a hilarious, heart-warming, and just cool movie that everyone should give it a chance. It is nothing like the Truman Show: besides the fact that they are both excellent films. You will not be disappointed by McConaughey's performance, and you will be surprised by how funny Jenna Elfman and Ellen DeGeneres is (her best film to date). If that is not enough- Elizabeth Hurley is in the film. I'd pay to watch her eat, let alone what she does in this movie. So please enjoy this 5 star movie with five great stars performing."
Michael Butts | Martinsburg, WV USA | 03/31/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"EDtv is not as farfetched as it may have seemed when released. We now have so many "reality" shows that the stuff going on in this flick pales in comparison. What makes Ron Howard's film worthwhile is the way it shows how "real life" goes to "reel life" in a matter of days, as Ed's life is "programmed" to bring in higher ratings. Initially doomed for failure, Ed's life becomes the fodder for everyman's desire to see someone "little" make it big. Millions of fans become obsessed with Ed's life, and of course his mixed up family and romantic life even makes the ratings soar. There are some wonderful little gimmicks Howard uses to show how the series that is doomed to fail becomes such a megahit. In the beginning, the advertisers names flashed across the bottom are local businesses; once EDtv catches on, major companies are flashed instead. Ed's choices in life lead the fans to follow suit: notice how the pizza parlor's business booms after Ed says it's the best pizza in San Francisco (this is in the deleted scenes only). Although the EDtv started out as wanting to capture the real moments in Ed's life, by the time two or three months have passed, Ed's life is no more real than those on "Survivor" or "Big Brother." Let's face it: how can one go about their normal life with microphones and cameras catching everything. Howard succeeds, however, in making much of the movie seem real; there are times when the characters act as if there wasn't anyone around at all. But, notice how Elizabeth Hurley's character inhales the cameras and all her moves are calculated to look good on film. Note the cruelty, too, of the fans who decide that Sherry (Ed's love) is too plain and not good enough for him, but how they love it when he starts making out with Jill. This fades quickly though once Ed falls off the table and smooshes Jill's cat. EDtv doesn't always work; it's a little too long, and if you watch the deleted scenes, you'll be amazed at how much they cut out. The cast is uniformly excellent. Matthew McConaughey as Ed possesses the kind of charismatic charm that would enslave a wide variety of people; Jenna Elfman's cuteness serves the character of Sherry well; Woody Harrelson brings a smarmy but comic force to the role of Ed's opportunistic brother; Ellen DeGeneres is superb as Cynthia, the woman behind the series; Rob Reiner is good as the arrogant and self-centered producer; Martin Landau and Sally Kirkland as Ed's stepfather and real mother are likewise excellent. I wasn't overly impressed with Hurley or Dennis Hopper as Ed's real dad, but their characters were the most under-developed in the whole film. All in all, EDtv gives us the warning that exposition of one's real life isn't all it is cracked out to be."
All Ed All the Time
Gregor von Kallahann | 03/26/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If Andy Warhol were alive today, he might conceivably modify his famous "In the future, everyone will be famous for 15 minutes" quote to something like, "In the future, everyone will have his very own reality show"--which might require that one be in the limelight for a bit longer than 15 minutes actually...but would it be quality time?
Ron Howard's EDtv was not a huge hit at the time of its release, and critically, it was your classic "mixed" reception. And it suffered from coming so close on the heels of two other TV-themed films, THE TRUMAN SHOW AND PLEASANTVILLE. But EDtv is a genial movie, starring a genial Matthew McConaughey, an even more genial Jenna Elfman, and an array of genuinely genial to genially grouchy supporting characters. The casting is ingenious and almost "stunt," in that many of the cast have had their fair share of brushes with the tabloids and could certainly offer a few insights of their own as regards the pro's and cons of celebrity culture.
It's sly casting, but it's also good casting. Ron Howard's famous abiltity with actors serves him well once again in this project--so much so that even the occasional lapses in plot can be overlooked. That so many of the cast, including the director himself, are more known for the television work than for films lends this amiable satire an additional layer of irony. And also a certain validity. Julia Roberts would have been too much of a "big screen" star to take on Liz Hurley's role, for instance. Hurley, a model and hair product spokesperson (not even a series vet!) is really just "small screen" enough for her part as "a model and sometimes actress" on the make.
The notion of a 24 hour a day broadcast of one individual's life is perhaps less outlandish in 2006 as it was in 1998. Back in those days, "reality TV" was limited mainly to an MTV that was trying to redefine itself and a few other, relatively minor cable stations. The new millennium changed all that--although despite being inundated with so-called "reality," no network has offered the unedited version (so far).
And with good reason. It really would be too boring. EDtv (the movie) risks tedium itelf by clocking in at over two hours, which is a bit too long, by industry standards, for a comedy. It probably could have stood some editing itself.
Unlike the surreal TRUMAN SHOW, EDtv is based on the premise that people (regular guys and not just exhibitionists) might willingly permit their entire lives to be broadcast 24/7. Where would anybody get such an idea? The only way to sell the premise really is to have the cable network so desperate that they will try almost anything. Ellen DeGeneres' Network exec character complains that they are losing ratings share to the Gardening Channel, complaining that people "would rather watch soil." Not everyone at the network is convinced, however, and the show does get off to a shaky start. It's only when the camera uncovers family scandal that things start hopping ratings-wise and otherwise, and before you can say "EDtv" a phenom is born.
There's a certain irony in that particular plot twist that gives this media satire a bit of a leavening touch. Ed (with camera crew in tow) drops by brother's place for a visit only to find that brother Ray (Woody Harrelson) is with a woman other than the girlfriend (Jenna Elfman) both the film audience and now the TV audience have come to know. Of course, it's longsince been clear that Ed and Shari (Elfman's character) have had eyes for each other all along, so Ray's two-timing on TV is exactly the plot device that we've been waiting for all along.
Shari has been a camera-shy bit player in this farce up until now. Once she becomes Ray's ex- and Ed's current girlfriend, she finds the strain of 24 hour coverage of her personal life unbearable, and the relationship is almost nipped in the bud. Of course, even if the (movie) believes that their getting together is virtually inevitable, however, it's nonetheless true that it was the TV show that brought this pair together, and, one could argue, did so in such a dramatic way that the love that hits them could only be full force.
So when it all gets to be a bit much, and Shari breaks it off and runs, she can be said to be biting the hand that joined her and Ed together.
That little irony is certainly not enough to compel any sane person to want to remain in this intrusive set-up, and her frustration soon becomes Ed's. His subsequent plotting to get out of his contract is understandable and even laudable in that light. It does all go to prove, however, that life in contemporary, "mediated" America ain't simple. As insane as it can get and as overwhelmng as it can be, it even has its upside. Not the least of the benefits is Ed's the mega-salary (with its "balloon payments") that he still gets to keep, even after he officially reneges on the deal. The audience can't begrudge him that, norhis newfound happiness with Shari (about whom most Americans polled for USA TODAY had their doubts at first). That's all part of the American dream too. If you can hoodwink the powers that be, more power to you.
Speaking of Andy Warhol. I recall that back in the 60s, I used to be intrigued by the notion of a 24 hour movie of the Empire State Building or eight hours of someone sleeping. I didn't want to actually WATCH them necessarily, but I was intrigued by the fact that they existed. I don't imagine I would feel much differently about an actual EDtv (or a BOBtv, a MIKEtv or a SUSIEtv). Well, maybe I would check it out--for about fifteen minutes.
J. Sprouffske | Rainier, WA USA | 02/03/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I remember when this movie first came out and people thought it was absurd. Who would tune in to watch a guy just being himself. Now all of a sudden in today's society it doesn't seem that odd. It is a somewhat cute movie. At times it could be considered a chick flick. I wouldn't necessarily consider it a comedy but it is pretty funny at times. The cast really comes through and rescues this movie from itself. I would only give it a 3 but with the all-star cast I'll give it a 4."