This is a charming intelligent humorous satire about the media, specifically live television shows. It confirms our belief in their cynical manipulative natures and the dangers to ordinary people when allowing themselves to be exploited by such shows. Thankfully, it also shows our own hypocritical prurience in watching such programmes.
Matthew McConaughey is superb as Ed Pekurny, the amiable video store clerk who agrees to let himself be filmed 24/7 for a failing TV cable channel in San Francisco. Although seemingly living a nondescript life (we see him clipping his toe nails) the viewer numbers rapidly increase when Ed becomes romantically involved with his brother’s girlfriend. The number of viewers increase even more when skeletons begin to fall out of family closets. There are some notable appearances throughout the film and Rob Reiner and Ellen DeGeneres are convincing as loathsome media-types. It was also interesting to see Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey play brothers 15 years prior to their great performances as police partners in the magnificent True Detective television series. This is definitely a film to watch, probably more than once.
on 14 January 2003
Many people unfairly compare this film with the Truman Show as both films involve showing a normal blokes life live on TV, for 24 hours a day. However, this is where the similarities end. The theme, approach and type of the two films are completely different.
In Ed TV, Ed Pekurney plays the truly likable guy who allows his life to be filmed for the country's entertainment. The humour ensues as his program becomes an instant hit. The ratings soar when Eds feelings for his brothers girlfriend emerge, and continue as many parts of his family's history - however sordid or embarassing - gradually emerge.
A funny, engaging and very re-watchable film ideal for most collections, Ed TV forms a cunning juxtaposition with it's main character. A likeable guy going out of his way to entertain his country, starring in a truly funny film that goes out of its way to entertain its viewers.
When EdTV came out a decade ago, I didn't go see it. I had seen The Truman Show nine months before, loved it, and figured that EdTV couldn't compare. But I was always curious about it, so I watched it on TV recently. While the other is better, this movie is good in its own right.
The TruTV Network (and hasn't some cable company renamed themselves that in the last few years?) has been hurting in the ratings. So executive Cynthia Topping (Ellen DeGeneres) has come up with a fresh new idea. They will film one person all day every day and let his life unfold on TV.
The lucky victim, I mean subject, is Ed Pekurny (Matthew McConaughey). His brother Ray (Woody Harrelson) is actually the most excited about the prospect, or really the money behind it. But Ed begins to realize just how hard his new lack of privacy is, especially when he tries to start a relationship with Shari (Jenna Elfman). As things in his family get more complicated, Ed begins to wish for a way out. Can he find one?
This movie is a comedy, and it succeeds most of the time. I found quite a few scenes funny, especially the reactions of people Ed would meet while living his life. The talk shows and Jay Leno bits were pretty good as well. Some of the comedy fell flat because it fell into the awkward humor area that makes me cringe instead of laugh.
The movie sets out to be a satire, shining a light on our celebrity obsessed culture. While it isn't as deep as some people claim it to be (The Truman Show is better), there are some moments that really do make you stop and think. For me, it was the polls newspapers were taking about Ed's love life.
Speaking of his love life, there are a couple of scenes that push the boundaries of the PG-13 ratings, although they do stop before things get into R territory.
I was pulled into the film by the sympathetic characters. I liked Ed from the moment we met him, and Shari is perfect for him (no matter what those polls said). Ed's family was at times sympathetic and annoying, but that helped propel the plot.
This isn't a movie full of surprises, and I saw most of the plot points coming. That doesn't mean I wasn't ready to stand up and cheer at the ending.
The movie sports an impressive cast. Beside the ones already mentioned, we've got Martin Landau, Rob Reiner, and Dennis Hopper, not to mention blink and you miss them cameos. Every person did great in their various roles. I am a fan of Jenna Elfman, so it was nice to see her in the role of leading lady.
When two competing movies with the same theme come out, comparison is inevitable. While EdTV is the lesser of the movies, it is still enjoyable entertainment.
on 6 September 2000
Ed Pekurny is a normal guy who agrees to have his life broadcast on Tv 24 hours, 7 days a week. At first he is willing, but fame isn't all its cracked up to be. Matthew MacConaghey is great as Ed and the chemistry between him and Woody Harrelson (who plays his brother Ray) is dynamic. The special features seem endless as director Ron Howard explains his motives for making this movie. All in all a packed, fun and moving DVD.
on 11 August 2006
When looking at the A star cast you can see the talent there. With the likes of Matthew McConaughey, Jenna Elfman, Woody Harrelson and Elizabeth Hurley I knew this was a must watch.
From director Ron Howard viewers will get the chance to explore the life of middle aged singleton Ed Pekurny as he goes from being a nobody to a celebrity by volunteering himself to star in a network experiment, being filmed 24/7 live infront of millions.
The story is great because of the sheer stupidity used by the great cast. Through the likable funny characters viewers are giving different aspects of `real' life such as family, relationship and job ideologies are beautifully portrayed by the infamous stars.
Through consistent one liners and also physical humorous actions by the characters EDTV will win over many audiences as it adds chucklesome humour but drives itself on emotional driven situations to, given a perfectly balance aspect of real life.
on 14 April 2005
This is a great film that made me laugh out loud in quite a few places, and is definately worth watching, the underlying theme is romance, but it doesn't overpower the movie - it won't make you want to stick your fingers down your throat!
on 24 December 2007
Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson work excellently on screen as Ed, the guy who is put on TV, and Ray, his energetic brother, who WANTS his life to be put on TV. You get a unique love triangle between the two brothers and Shari, the object of both of their affection. Shari is actually one of the better characters in the film, because the viewing audience soon proves to not be very fond of Shari, and Jenna Elfman makes this very believable with her nerve gratingly aggravating performance. Interviews with the public showed that people were fed up with her whole attitude about the whole EdTV spectacle, and I found myself feeling the same way. Every time she was on screen complaining I just wanted her to get lost.
It is McConaughey and Harrelson who really made the film work, with their excellent performances (but what the hell was the deal with the chicken dance?). The film also very effectively evoked some genuine emotion at several points, particularly in the scenes that dealt with Ed's and Ray's torn family life. There area also some very well known actors, particularly Dennis Hopper and Elizabeth Hurley, who show up in EdTV for some relatively small roles.
on 8 February 2002
A postmodern commentary on the rise of 'reality TV' in a similar vein to "Five Minutes", Ed TV is one of few romantic comedies that are actually funny. It charts the brief TV career of Ed, a Texan video store clerk, who finds himself thrust from obscurity to nationwide fame when he becomes the star of his own TV channel, which charts his everyday life, 24/7. Naturally this has a wide range of repercussions and soon the whole escapade turns sour as his family collapses around him, their closeted skeletons tumbling out into the open. Matthew McConaughy does a good job of portraying Ed but the real starhas to be the Woody Allen-esque step-father, Al, brilliantly and humorously portrayed by Martin Landau. By contrast, Jenna Elfman's Shari - the love interest - is flat and unexciting (Liz Hurley is much more engaging as strumpet Jill). However, the cast is probably secondary to the concept. The whole film challenges the way the media - not just television - creates celebrities overnight, destroying their dignity through stealing their privacy, and subjecting them to the judgement and criticism of the masses. It is a sharp yet subtle critique of what can be seen as a disturbing trend as witnessed in the manic following of shows like Big Brother, as well as in the treatment people are subjected to by the press and showbiz paparazzi. And, especially when Ed becomes trapped in his new role as the man everyone watches endlessly on TV - and thus, the man everyone assumes they know - it starkly exhibits the cost of celebrity. This is all packaged up with an absolutely superb soul-based soundtrack which complements the action and overall quality of the production. Well worth a look.
on 31 August 2008
You can't go wrong with a film directed by Ron Howard.He always makes intelligent and highly watchable films and EDtv is no exception.
The writers of this film raised it above the voyeuristic,shallow status of a big brother type programme, and gave us rounded and likeable characters who seemed to belong in the real world even when the cameras were present.Humorous,moving,surprising,and educational, the viewer learns a lot about people in this film.You should watch this film because it is for its two hours duration thoroughly entertaining.
The bonus features include a 40 minute section of deleted scenes and long interviews with ron howard and the writers and actors.
on 29 December 2003
What a film - i only watched this after it was on the tele, and after Mathew McConahey had become more of a household name and up until then it had not interested me, but, OH MY GOD!!! how funny is this film - laugh out loud funny - thats how funny! Watch out for the amazing performance from the guy who played "Eddie" in "Friends" - he really is fantastic! - very nearly a 5 star film!