Director Ron Howard does it again. Matthew MacConaughey, Jenna Elfman, Ellen Degeneres and Woody Harrelson star in this immensely funny witticism about life.
True TV, a reality television station, decides to follow one person with 24/7 surveillance. Ed Pekurney (MacConaughey) is chosen by Ellen Degeneres and Rob Reiner, the True TV executives. He’s an average guy, who works in a video store, dreams of his brother’s sweet girlfriend (Elfman), idolizes Burt Reynolds and really wants nothing more than a beer at the end of his day.
Being a reality television star changes all that and much more. His budding relationship is unable to blossom due to the lack of privacy and the fact that Ed is the “Menudo” of reality television. Ed makes the most of it, with Leno appearances, Pepsi sponsorships and even a little model dating. The fun stops when Ed’s entire family is exploited and the fad of fame becomes drab. When the executives tell him he will be on the air for 3 more months, Ed uses his voice to America to turn the attention to the station executives.
A thoroughly enjoyable film. I love Ellen Degeneres and found her quite charming in this role, particularly when her loyalties lean toward Ed and stray from True TV. This film is, in fact, wonderfully casted. With Elizabeth Hurley as a camera-loving model, Martin Landau and Dennis Hopper as Ed’s dads and Clint Howard as a “guy who eats three meals a day” in the Edtv truck, you can’t miss.
Additionally, Ron Howard does a fantastic job of creating this world for us. This film was, unfortunately, overshadowed by the Truman Show, which came out the same year. This is a much better film…if you ask me.