EDtv - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

EDtv Reviews

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½ November 19, 2016
The turning point in the life of Ed Pekurny (Matthew McConaughey) comes thanks to the misfortunes of the NorthWest Broadcasting Company. After two years on the air, their flagship cable channel, True TV, has slid into obscurity due to competition from the The Gardening Channel. Program director Cynthia Topping (Ellen DeGeneres) brainstorms a last ditch effort to save the channel: broadcast one ordinary person's life 24 hours a day, unedited (while he sleeps, the day's highlights will be shown). When the network agrees to the idea, Topping must find the subject of her program. After endless auditions, she lucks upon Ed, a goofy but good-looking video store clerk. Ed has little time to get used to his new shadow, a three man video crew, before the show becomes a hit. Suddenly Ed's a cultural icon with fan clubs, stalkers, and imitators, but the media saturation has it's effects on his friends and family, who are now part of the program. Ed alienates his proud brother, Ray (Woody Harrelson), by falling in love with his girlfriend, Shari (Jenna Elfman). His estranged father Hank (Dennis Hopper) reappears after abandoning the family and creates tension between Ed and Ray's mother, Jeanette (Sally Kirkland) and her wheelchair-bound second husband, Al (Martin Landau). When Ed realizes the phenomenon has turned on him, he convinces Topping to stop the ordeal, but not her boss, Whitaker (Rob Reiner). To regain his life, Ed must find a way to cancel EDtv.
½ November 3, 2016
Ron Howard's take on The Truman Show is entertaining, but a little inappropriate at times. I enjoyed the general concept of the film. (First viewing - Summer 2008)
October 25, 2016
Good idea. Good actors. I'd watch it again.
½ October 18, 2016
I loved it. Thoroughly enjoyed it beginning-to-end!
½ October 13, 2016
The cast was amazing. Pretty cool movie.
October 9, 2016
Just a classic great fun and funny movie. OMG with the chicken dance. And guys are the gas and girls are the breaks.
½ January 29, 2016
Despite being full of plot points that feel familiar and cliché, the biting satire and fun performances of EDtv make for a mostly entertaining time.
August 17, 2015
Accomplished tedium.
May 14, 2015
EdTV! i know this movie doesn't seem like it deserves 4 stars, but it really does. i was expecting way, way worse than the ratings on here. a 63% from critics that isn't fresh isn't all that great, neither is a 29%. and it deserves way higher because it is entertaing, has a great performance from matthew mcgaunahey, it is funny in most scenes, but some do fall flat with unfunny cheese and extremly childish jokes that get a little and annoying and some characters can be annoying in ways too, but not in a great way, in a jar jar binks type of way. not like someone you love to hate. and it is hollywood saturated in alot of it, but i cant get over the fact that it really appealed to me, and i thought was entertaining and had a solid performance from matthew mcaunahey that was both comedic and dramatic. i reccomend this movie!
½ May 2, 2015
Matthew McConaughey as stars as ED in Ron Howard's EDtv. Ed Perkurny is your regular guy until he gets cast in a reality show that features his daily life events. The drama ensues as relationships between his brother (Woody Harrelson) and a woman (Jenna Elfman) unfold. EDtv was pretty forced and goes on for too long. The movie tries to encapsulate America's fascination with reality TV, but ultimately is a boring soap opera. The Truman Show is a much better movie and should be seen over this.
December 29, 2014
Pretty great, weird but great.
½ December 10, 2014
I really liked Ed Tv...where the Truman show had a lot more depth to it in the realm of emotion and scope, this movie is just downright fun as it takes a look into tv consumers and how we love reality tv and love to see what happens in other peoples lives. McConaughey plays Ed who is picked to have his life followed 24/7 by TV cameras. What started out as just a little idea turned into a huge sensation. I enjoyed the idea and seeing what kind of things the character got involved in. A good comedy with some very good moments.
September 12, 2014
Fairly average. McConnaughey is the balls. Serious twitch off Hurley. Gimme The Truman Show any day.
September 7, 2014
Yes, its similar to the Truman Show, but it brings it's own little thing to the table. Matthew and Woody are a great pair, as well as Ellen and such. It provides the drama we'd expect, and it brings the look at stardom. It is a good movie, but originality doesn't fit in, and not just because its exactly like the Truman Show, its drama and plot I mean by those terms.
½ August 7, 2014
Amazing how this film came out in the 90s and predicted the publics obsession with reality tv. Skimming other comments it seems this is compared to the Truman Show a lot. I would argue they are similar but with enough differences to make both enjoyable for different reasons.
June 29, 2014
Not Truman show, but it does not try to be. Not as good but it is interesting
June 29, 2014
Likable but overly antiseptic comedy. Yes, the lead actor is from motion pictures, but the overwhelming majority of the rest of the cast is from TV, and that's exactly the way this feels. Like a TV sitcom. One that probably lasted just a touch too long to make this a higher rating.
½ June 15, 2014
Funnier than I expected. It was my first time seeing it, since it came out while I was on my mission.
June 9, 2014
A funny movie. The acting was alright and the plot was decent.
May 30, 2014
EdTV is a frustrating film for me to think about, let alone watch. It begs comparison to 1998's vastly superior The Truman Show (my favourite film, if you're interested), but it can't hold a candle to that classic. It invites it's audience to ponder the questions raised by the (at the time) burgeoning popularity of Reality TV, mostly because it refuses to engage them itself. And worst of all , it wastes the considerable talent of Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, among others. And to top this infuriating film off, the director whose name signs the whole thing off is Ron Howard, who is capable of so much more.


Average joe Ed Pekurny is selected by True TV executives as their new money-maker, as star of 'EdTV', a 24-hour broadcast of this one man's life. Immediately, the film opens up a world of possibilities for itself. There's the strain put on Ed's relationship with his family (particularly his brother Ray), the reaction to Ed's fame by strangers and friends alike, and obviously the development of Ed's own character when he's broadcast to the world all day, every day. The film is even studious enough to delve into the character of the show's creator (played by Ellen DeGeneres), whose mistreatment by True TV executives (in particular, Rob Reiner's arrogant True TV President) fuels her desire to see the show succeed.

Yet, with such promise comes great capacity for failure, and EdTV is a failure. It never truly explores the interesting plot lines it sets up, and doesn't even try to be the kind of interesting or dramatically enriching film that The Truman Show is. Instead, it wastes the talents of it's cast, refuses to ask the kind of questions you'd expect, and doesn't even capitalise on the escalation that most films of this variety do. No resolution is provided for the interesting plotline involving Ed and Ray's absentee father, nor is the gradual face turn of Ellen DeGeneres' character met with any satisfying act of goodwill.

That's a problem that I feel lies with director Ron Howard. The writing is cliche, sure, but the the cast never quite phone it in (even if nobody really gives it their all). Instead, scenes are completely tonally inconsistent, and it's maddening. There's a scene early on in the film where Ed discusses the TV deal with his family around the dinner table. This should have been a light, mildly inspirational scene (you know, where the protagonist promises his dependents the sun, moon and stars), but it was played with too much of a satirical, borderline cruel tinge, and came across as more condescending than uplifting.

Then there's the supporting characters. Characters like Ed and Ray's sister come in and out of the film, mostly when there's a joke to be made. No resolution is provided for the sister character, or her seemingly self-destructve relationship with the terrible frontman of a local band. The worst example of the film's dispensable peripheral characters is Elizabeth Hurley's femme fatale character. She is set up as something of an antagonist, the popular attractive obstacle for Ed to overcome, before his inevitable reconciliation with love interest Shari (Jenna Elfman). Unfortunately, Hurley's character is given a modicum of characterisation before she shuffles off into the sunset. It's maddening.

That's not to say the film doesn't have it's redeeming elements. As I said, the cast is strong (McConaughey, Harrelson, DeGeneres and Reiner are all memorable and committed), but poor writing and inconsistent direction really detract from that. And the film does have some great ideas. Even if it hadn't asked the philosophical questions The Truman Show had, it could have been a seriously compelling look at the skeletons that emerge when a family is scrutinised by millions. Yet again however, it's a totally underwritten idea that amounts to naught by the film's run time.

The film's visual style is similarly fatiguing. It's not bad, necessarily, but it's aiming for that in-your-face, highly-colourful, look typical of ads or music videos, presumably in an attempt to keep with the film's themes of voyeurism and media control. Unfortunately, as the film descends further into the pit of bad comedy, the film's style becomes more and more grating, until it gets tiring to watch.

EdTV is the kind of film that I would simply suggest you avoid. It's not as bad as say, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, but I would recommend that monstrosity over EdTV for morbid curiosity, the pretty visuals, or even the acting. EdTV, while a better film, is the kind of forgettable, pointless film that should never have come to fruition, especially after The Truman Show.

EdTV gets a 4/10.
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