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.
Action / Comedy / Drama
Action / Comedy / Drama
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In a Hail Mary move for corporate preservation, the San Francisco based Northwest Broadcasting Corporation launches True TV, a new network which will broadcast the life of an Average Joe or Jane, 24/7 live and thus unedited, the subject chosen signed initially for one month. The project is conceived and led by one of the producers, Cynthia, but her boss, NWBC president Whitaker, will take the credit if it succeeds, and let her sink as the captain of the ship if it fails. The network is rebranded EdTV when Cynthia believes she's found her subject, Ed Pekurny, a native Texas hayseed, who fits the two main criteria that she is looking for in the person: he is easy on the eyes, and he has what seems to be a potential trainwreck of a life in that he he is thirty-one years old, spends most of his time hanging out at the bar, and has no ambition beyond his longtime dead end job as a clerk in a video store. Ed did not actively campaign for the job - his blowhard of a brother Ray was the one who played to the cameras when Cynthia's team was looking for subjects - but ultimately decided to do it after discussing it with those close to him, namely his immediately family of his mother, stepfather, and two siblings. After a slow start and despite some people associated with Ed hamming it up to the cameras in wanting their fifteen minutes of fame or more, Ed becomes enough of a toast to the TV watching public for the network to become a success. However, having the cameras rolling during certain times may not be the most advantageous for those directly involved, especially as someone from Ed's distant past reenters his life, and an issue with regard to Ray's relationship with his current girlfriend, a UPS delivery person named Shari who if Ed was being honest would admit that he is attracted to himself. Other issues that eventually do emerge is Ed and those around him using the cameras as a convenient excuse for things that happen, and as Whitaker, against Cynthia's wants as the moves being totally self-serving, begins to manipulate Ed to make EdTV more salacious TV viewing.
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